GCC must prepare for lower oil prices, warns Apicorp

01 October 2013

Exporters in the GCC must prepare for potential impact of North America shale and tight oil

Oil exporters in the GCC need to be prepared for the potential impact of North American unconventional developments on oil and gas prices, according to the multilateral development bank Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (Apicorp).

The increase in capacity from tight oil and shale oil producers is likely to increase the spare capacity of Opec, which could have a dampening effect on future global crude prices.

“[Opec members] should not discount the greater impact that further shale development could have on oil markets and prices,” said Ali Aissaoui, senior consultant at Apicorp, speaking at the KPMG GCC Energy Conference in Abu Dhabi on 1 October.

“Governments in the GCC region should be prepared to face the implications of lower oil and gas prices for fiscal sustainability,” he added. “Challenges facing core GCC countries will differ depending on the distribution of break-even points along Opec’s fiscal cost curve and on either side of the world market price.”

Many oil exporters in the Middle East have increased their break-even oil prices in 2013 budgets. Bahrain, for example, has increased its oil price assumption from $80 a barrel last year to $90 this year, Iran has raised its figure from $85 to $95 and Oman has gone from $75 in 2012 to $85 a barrel this year.

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