Posts Tagged ‘Middle East’

Few surprises expected from OPEC despite cracks over policy — Fuel for Thought

Never say never.

With this in mind, it would probably be foolish to rule out some kind of deal between OPEC and non-OPEC producers to manage supply.

But, right now, there’s nothing to suggest that any such pact is even a remote possibility, and few OPEC watchers expect the oil producer group to do anything other than rubber-stamp current output policy at talks in Vienna next week.

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Petrochemical implications of easing sanctions on Iran

Earlier this month, the US and its negotiating partners announced steps to move ahead on what is known as “adoption day,” intended to show readiness for sanctions relief for Iran. However, relief will only begin on “implementation day,” the day when the International Atomic Energy Agency certifies that Iran lived up to its commitments according to the nuclear deal completed in July.

According to the US CIA’s The World Factbook, Iran has the world’s second largest supply of conventional natural gas reserves, much of which is rich in ethane. Given that the rest of the Middle Eastern countries are experiencing limited supplies in ethane, this presents a huge opportunity for the Iranian petrochemical sector as sanctions are eased.

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Much ado about … an OPEC editorial

An editorial in OPEC’s latest Bulletin caused much excitement and contributed to a price rally on oil markets on August 31. The oil producer club said it stood “ready to talk to all other producers” but emphasized that this had to be on “a level playing field.”

But there’s nothing new here. OPEC has regularly stated its willingness to talk to other producers and the editorial seems merely to reiterate this.

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Oman exports more LNG in move with implications for oil

Over the past two years, Oman has quietly expanded the number of countries to which it exports LNG to well beyond those with which it has long-term supply contracts.

In a state that needs increasing gas volumes to fuel its oil and heavy industrial sectors, this raises far-reaching questions about energy strategy.

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The Oil Big Five: No slowdown for oil

High summer can often be seen as a slow period, when the heat and prospect of a holiday can make it hard to work up the effort to make news. In the Northern Hemisphere, summer is in full force, and luckily for us, news is also heating up in the world of oil.

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Asia drawing better purchase terms for Mideast crude as competition intensifies

There is little doubt that additional crude oil supplies from Iran will intensify competition among Middle Eastern producers, which are already fighting to secure their share of Asia’s dynamic markets against the influx of barrels from western hemisphere suppliers that can no longer rely on the US market.

Tehran’s July 14 nuclear deal with six world powers will eventually lead to additional flows of Iranian oil onto world markets, but oil minister Bijan Zanganeh has already said the thrust of the marketing focus will be on Asia, where Iran has been able to maintain a foothold in the four key consuming countries.

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The changing dynamics of global benzene supply

Benzene is a primary aromatic and the precursor for the C6 value chain, and finds itself at crossroads in relation to the aromatics main outlet of supply. Benzene supply is traditionally dependent on gasoline production out of the refinery and as a co-product of naphtha cracking.

However, massive projections for increased polyethylene terephthalate demand in Asia led to a wave of investments in paraxylene production units and resulted in growth of benzene production as a by-product from these units. Also, with major refinery expansions in the Middle East (especially processing heavier crude, which yields more benzene) and Asia, as well as move to lighter cracking for ethylene production in the US and the Middle East, benzene supply dynamics globally have changed. Benzene is no longer just dictated by the traditional means of supply.

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Oil demand is recovering, but are we susceptible to irrational exuberance?

The world seems to be using more oil now that it is 40% cheaper than a year ago and especially so in countries enjoying some economic growth momentum.

Depending on who you are listening to, the US, China, India and the Middle East are cited as the main drivers of demand growth in 2015, with consumption in Japan and the Eurozone improving from a low base last year, in line with their economic recovery.

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The Oil Big Five: Marking one year of watching the global oil industry

This month’s version of The Oil Big Five marks its first anniversary and we’re pleased to still be serving up a monthly dose of topics to keep an eye on in the global oil industry.

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UAE, Iraq oil potentials prove as much variation within region as among regions: New Frontiers

In this week’s Oilgram News column, New Frontiers, Tamsin Carlisle and Adal Mirza illustrate the widely varying states of oil production in a region where reserves and potential are bountiful — if they can be tapped.

From the outside, it can be tempting to lump together the Persian Gulf oil states as a homogeneous mass. After all, oil statistics on the region typically talk of the “Middle East” and they export crude to much the same markets, mainly in Asia.

However, as delegates at the Middle East Petroleum and Gas Conference in Abu Dhabi recently heard, not all Gulf oil producers are created equal, and those with some of the biggest reserves may, in coming years, be outperformed by more reliable suppliers.

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