An emerging strategic energy relationship

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Ever since the nationalisations of the 1970s, western oil majors have worked hard to get their foot back into the door of the petroleum sector in the Middle East. But now this is set to change.

After years of courting national oil companies (NOCs) and governments in the region, the results are disappointing. They face intense competition from Asian NOCs and where they win deals the terms are often not attractive enough. Their focus is changing, with more supermajor investment dollars heading back to unconventionals in North America, where terms are stable and opportunities abound.

The NOCs of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Iraq, too, are shifting gears. They are turning their attention eastwards, where the bulk of their exports will be headed for years to come. They want to lock in that market. They are also realising that their Asian customers can provide a more holistic investment package. This report addresses some of the pressing economic challenges the region faces. Emerging trends point to a closer Gulf-Asia energy relationship…

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