Middle East
Unbuilding a nation
1 January 2006
DNO has begun exploring for oil in Iraq – the first company to do so since the US-led invasion. The Norwegian firm's investment is not just high-risk because of the security situation, but also because of the unsound legal regime. And because it has been agreed with a regional authority, it may further hinder attempts to rebuild the country, writes Ayesha Daya
Resurrecting old links
1 January 2006
Ceaseless pipeline attacks have prevented a smooth flow of crude exports from Iraq. Although alternative pipelines do exist, making them operational often depends on politics, writes Ayesha Daya
Borderline decision
1 November 2005
The signing of a gas-supply deal sending Qatari gas to Oman, through the UAE, heralds a new era for energy co-operation in the Mideast Gulf. James Gavin reports
Business as usual
1 November 2005
No matter who becomes oil minister, engagement with the US and Europe is the only way of reversing Iran's energy-sector decline. Ayesha Daya reports
Lowered horizons
1 July 2005
IBRAHIM Bahr al-Ulloum, the Iraq transitional government's new oil minister, took office in early May with an optimistic message about the prospects for the country's oil industry. The new motto would be to "boost production and battle corruption". James Gavin reports
Snuggling-up time
1 December 2004
Caution still pervades the public comments of senior international oil company (IOC) executives when it comes to Iraq. Given the absence of the two key conditions for IOC investment—a stable political/security situation and a transparent and fair regulatory system—expectations for speedy IOC entries are still low, writes James Gavin
Saudi oil comes under threat
1 July 2004
The rash of attacks on Western interests and civilians in Saudi Arabia have raised concerns about the surety of the kingdom's oil supply in the event of an attack on energy infrastructure. But is the fear premium that is causing spiking oil prices justified? James Gavin reports
Squaring up to old challenges
1 July 2004
Rehabilitation of the country's northern and southern oilfields holds the key to Iraq's return to plus-3m b/d production capacity. Prime minister Iyad Allawi will find restoring Iraqi oil infrastructure, production and exports at the top of his in-tray. But, as James Gavin reports, this may not prove easy
Testing the waters
1 May 2004
In any jurisdiction, even in benign conditions, eliminating risk from a commercial bargain is difficult. Given its parlous security situation, will inward investors feel comfortable about contracting in Iraq? Steven A Wardlaw, partner, and Matthew Williams, associate, Baker Botts, London, write
Aramco seeks to blunt oil reserves concerns
1 April 2004
Saudi Arabia has mounted a counter-offensive to claims that its oilfields face sharp declines, affording a unique glimpse into the state of the world's greatest hydrocarbons resource. But this does not imply a new-found commitment to transparency. James Gavin reports
Exports back on track
1 April 2004
Iraqi oil is back to where it started from, one year after the start of events that led to Saddam Hussein's removal. Without massive investment, the production target of 6m b/d seems difficult to achieve, particularly unresolved political uncertainties, reports James Gavin