BP's Finley: 'Great, Enormous Potential for MENA Region'

The future supply growth of oil produced by countries in the MENA region will not depend on Libya or Algeria, as these two countries seem to be at a standstill in the oil and gas industry.

"We can't expect much," said Vera de Ladoucette, Senior Associate, IHS CERA.

With civil unrest causing havoc in Libya, corruption remains a risk that many oil and gas companies are steering clear of and largely ignoring. Unless oil production returns to pre-conflict levels, Libya's economy and political stability will suffer.

"I don't see the country returning to pre-war output levels of around 1.6 MMbopd," stated de Ladoucette.

However, in November 2011, the International Energy Agency predicted that Libyan oil production would be 1.2 MMbopd by the end of 2012 – a surprising amount considering the country's oil industry practically shut down during the uprising and only resuming in September 2011.

The attention of the session, "Middle East and North Africa – Contributions to Future Supply Growth," held at IHS CERAWeek, then turned to Iraq, considered a "great, enormous potential for the MENA region," commented Mark Finley, General Manager of Global Energy Markets, BP America.

The country has recently seen an increase in oil production, roughly 3 million barrels, for the first time in more than three decades, and expects a sharp increase in daily production with a major new floating oil terminal slated to begin operations soon.

Last month , Iraq officially opened the first of four planned offshore mooring facilities, and intends to add 200,000 bopd to its capacity for loading tankers. Even though the SPM facility has yet to start operation due to bad weather, the country continues to see a rise in production and has set its sights on increasing its oil production to 13 million barrels a day over the coming seven years.

Nevertheless, within Iraq, security and politics still play a major role in the country's future.

"Where it goes from here remains highly uncertain, and in fact, we list it as one of the greatest uncertainties," stated Finley.

Whatever the outcome, the country holds about 60 percent of the world's resources but only produces around 30 percent.


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