MENA upstream month in brief: 3 February 2016

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Report summary

Implementation day arrived in Iran, lifting US and EU nuclear related oil and banking sanctions and paving the way for foreign investment in its upstream sector. Iran will gradually increase oil production and exports towards their pre-sanctions levels and will push to sell its crude and condensate stored in its tankers first. Meanwhile, President Rouhani inaugurated Phases 15 and 16 of its giant South Pars gas field. But a long awaited conference unveiling Iran’s new fiscal terms was postponed indefinitely. Elsewhere, the low oil price environment led Saudi Aramco to announce it was considering an IPO, whilst Shell exited UAE’s undeveloped Bab sour gas project and Algeria’s Sonatrach postponed shale drilling. Oman announced possible LNG tax hikes and service companies reported losses of around 20% across the Middle East. Prospects for a recovery to Libyan oil production diminished as the Islamic State attacked ports in the East.

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