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Oil and gas in the Middle East

Hydrocarbon Engineering,


BMI expects the key developments in Bahrain’s oil and gas sector to come from the refining industry as capacity expands at the Sitra refinery. Plans will see the refinery increase in capacity from 270 000 bpd to 350 000 bpd and see refined fuels increase by 30%. However, there have been delays surrounding this work and this is likely to result in a continuation of fuel export declines and widening deficit to 2020, according to BMI. There are also rumoured plans in the country of an LNG receiving terminal, but BMI thinks this is still a long way from realisation.

BMI has reported that there is little room for progress on fuel subsidy reform in Bahrain over the short term. BMI expects continued subsidisation to support strong refined fuels consumption growth over the next five years.


Iran is home to the fourth largest oil reserves in the world and the second largest gas reserves, however field maturity and replenishment is a constant struggle for the country, according to BMI. A vast majority of reserves are undeveloped and this is a situation, which is likely to stay if international sanctions continue. Crude and condensate production levels in Iran are expected to come in at 3.25 million bpd this year and exports have fallen by over 1 million bpd since sanctions were imposed.

The country is expecting a significant refining capacity expansion to 1.9 million bpd over the next three years and fuel subsidy cuts, according to BMI as the country edges closer to refined product self sufficiency. The first phase of the Persian Gulf Star refinery is expected to come online by the end of 2017 and it could ensure self sufficiency by 2019.


Oman’s oil and gas sector has seen a revival recently, as, according to BMI, Muscat has channelled efforts and funds into enhanced recovery methods. Success is evident as hydrocarbons output which stood at 714 000 bpd in 2007 is now heading towards 973 400 bpd in 2015.

BMI is looking more optimistic with its gas outlook than oil. Natural gas production is expected to grow slowly over the next few years but a dramatic increase is expected after 2017 hen the Khazzan project comes online. Looking at LNG, the government of Oman, according to BMI has reported LNG revenues of US$ 4.5 billion for 2013, an increase of US$ 149 million on 2012.


BMI has said that the success of the UAE’s oil and gas sector is all going to rest on the success of its economic diversification efforts, primarily investment and growth in the non-hydrocarbon sectors. Last year, the UAE economy grew by 5% which was aided by a rise in oil exports and the trend continued in to 2014 bringing oil production closer to the UAE target of 3.6 million bpd by 2019.

BMI anticipates crude oil, NGL and other liquids production to average 3.24 million bpd this year, increasing to 3.29 million bpd next year, this is partly as Middle East countries look to fill the gap left by Libya and Iraq. BMI has also said that the UAE is going to be continually adjusting a deficit in gasoline and diesel products, whilst increasing the production of LPG and other products. The expansion of downstream capacity is expected to aid the country’s oil and gas sector as there are great expectations for Fujairah and Dubai, however a lot of this is apparently contingent on other project success.

Looking at gas, production is expected to increase significantly between 2014 and 2015 from 60.15 billion m3 to 69.56 billion m3. However, BMI has warned that while gas production in the country is going to increase, gas consumption is going to rise also.

Edited from report briefs by Claira Lloyd.

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