Middle East
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
Time is of the essence
1 February 2004
The investment community’s relationship with the Middle East has never been more central than it is today. Far too often, the focus is on geopolitics, conflict and cultural differences. Instead, we must focus on partnership, and we must do so quickly, before those differences are allowed to cause further divides. By David J O’Reilly, chairman and chief executive officer, ChevronTexaco
Scaling back projections
1 November 2003
War brings feel-good factor
1 September 2003
Every dark cloud has a silver lining, goes the old adage. For the Middle East in 2003, this is doubly true. War in Iraq has helped deliver a heady cocktail of booming prices and robust output for most producers, as well as galvanising long-neglected upstream openings. James Gavin reports
Iraq spurs policy shift
1 July 2003
If the eventual outcome was never in dispute, the Iraq conflict nevertheless confounded many expectations – not least that the war would last just three weeks, but that Iraqi oil exports would take more than three months to re-emerge. The post-war Middle East retains the capacity to surprise, writes James Gavin
Bad to worse
1 July 2003
After Saddam
1 June 2003
As the US attempts to establish a new order in Iraq, attention is focused on the country’s oil sector. But it will probably be a decade before Iraq reaches its full potential as one of the world’s top oil producers. David Townsend reports on an uncertain future
This is now
1 May 2003
Economics thicker than politics
1 February 2003
The Israeli-Palestinian peace process has stalled, along with ambitious schemes to expand energy co-operation in the region. Although Israel plays a pivotal role in many of these projects, and Arab hostility to the nation is a major stumbling block, it is too soon to write off chances of success, writes James Gavin
Messy divorce
1 January 2003
Diplomatic relations between the US and Saudi Arabia, once staunch allies, are strained. Reports of terrorist connections in the kingdom have made the US wary of their main crude supplier at a time when the world’s biggest oil consumer is looking to diversify its supply sources from the Middle East and maintain its security of supply. Alternative suppliers are waiting in the wings, writes James Gavin
Slower growth expected
1 September 2002
Economic growth in the Middle East is expected to slow down this year, amid falling oil output and continuing political uncertainty. However, it is not all gloom. Several countries attempts to diversify away from over-reliance on energy are beginning to pay dividends and regional stock markets, for now, appear to be weathering the storm. David Townsend reports
Iraq to the fore
1 April 2002
Slowly does it
1 April 2002
Moves to open up some Middle East economies to foreign investment have been under way for the past few years. While progress remains slow, overseas investors appear to be prepared to play the waiting game, as the potential rewards are expected to justify the effort. In addition, as liberalisation gathers pace, new investment opportunities are expected to emerge, not only in the energy sector. David Townsend reports
Gas plan to boost services
1 February 2002