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12 predictions for 2016 from the brightest minds in energy

Energy leaders set tone for 2016 in industry-defining publication

The year ahead holds promise for many sectors across oil and gas markets. Petroleum Economist has put together an exclusive collection of essays and articles to produce Outlook 2016. Here, we give a taste of what to expect from the long awaited report in the form of a few select comments from our expert contributors.

Amrita Sen, co-founder and chief oil analyst at Energy Aspects, discusses demand and supply at the pump.

"The rebalancing will accelerate in late 2016, with the first global stock draw after 10 quarters in Q4 2016. As the [oil] market looks ahead to a significantly tighter market in 2017, prices can easily rise back into the $70s by the end of 2016."

Abdalla El-Badri, the secretary-general of Opec, gives his thoughts on market imbalances.

"The industry can expect to see a more balanced market in 2016 as global economic growth picks up, oil-demand growth continues its recent expansion, and non-Opec supply growth drops considerably."

Robin Mills, fellow at the Brookings Doha Center, looks at Iran's return to markets.

"The end of sanctions in 2016 will see Iranian oil come back to market and launch a new expansive era for the country's energy sector... Adding new Iranian supply to the global glut could knock $5 - 10/barrel off the oil price."

Bill Farren-Price, founder and CEO of Petroleum Policy Intelligence, discusses Saudi Arabia's importance in the future of oil markets, and where prices are headed.

"Long-dated contracts [in Saudi Arabia] imply the market will struggle to get much above $60/b before the end of the decade."

Luay Al-Khatteeb, founding director of the Iraq Energy Institute, looks at Iraq's strategy in staying ahead of the curve.

"Iraq, like other Opec members, will offer discounts to maintain market share, thereby reducing the chances of keeping prices above $40/b in 2016. It's probably better to assume Iraq will garner $35/b for its oil next year - making 2016 difficult for a country needing $101/b to keep its budget afloat."

Chris Nelder, author of Profit from the Peak, discusses Saudi Arabia's role in changing the Middle Eastern green paradigm.

"In 2016, the kingdom's dream of using its vast deserts to generate cheap power will finally start to become a reality. [...] Thanks to the favourable fundamentals, 2016 should see the Middle East start to bloom with cheap green-energy suppliers."

Pedro Joaquin Coldwell, Mexico's secretary for energy, comments on the country's energy future.

"In the hydrocarbons sector, the whole value chain was opened to private investment to stop the decline of oil and gas production seen in the past decade. In the power sector, a new wholesale-electricity market will start operating in 2016 and diverse investors will carry out different projects across almost the whole sector, excluding nuclear-power generation."

Neil Beveridge, senior analyst, Bernstein Research, looks at LNG's prospects.

"No LNG projects due on line in 2016 will return their cost of capital. [...] While near-term demand growth has faltered, the long-term outlook is attractive. The global LNG market will likely more than double between now and 2030. Gas (and LNG) will play a central role as the world moves to cut greenhouse-gas emissions."

Michael Levi, fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, considers COP21 and climate change in the year ahead.

"If Paris is viewed as a success, it will bolster the position of advocates in capitals from Washington to Beijing who argue that pursuing emissions cuts at home is good policy [...] Action on climate will get real in 2016 when governments try to come good on their summit promises."

Oliver Jakob, managing director of Petromatrix, looks at the facts behind gasoline's resurgence.

"...gasoline is back. As it steals diesel's momentum in the coming two years, gasoline will also bring some strong economic returns to refiners still able to meet the market's ever-changing needs."

Kang Wu, Vice Chairman, Asia and Managing Director, FGE China, examines the impact of the Chinese economy on energy markets. "China's economy and energy-demand needs will continue their readjustment in 2016 - with consequences for everyone else."

Chris Weafer, the founding partner of Macro-Advisory looks at the state of Russian energy markets.

"Oil production will fall in 2016 as sanctions and low oil prices starve Russia's energy sector of cash and technology. Expect some more deal-making with Asian investors."


Extracts taken from Outlook 2016: Energy markets and politics in the year ahead published by the team behind Petroleum Economist. Experts and industry leaders take a look at what's in store for the year ahead. Emerging trends, geopolitical issues and regions are all explored. For more information, please visit The Petroleum Economist Store or contact Phil Jackson at now.

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