EGYPS 2018 Highlights Industry Achievements and Brings Together Global Key Players in North Africa’s largest Oil and Gas Exhibition and Conference
4 February 2018, Cairo - The Egypt Petroleum Show (EGYPS 2018) held under the patronage of H.E. President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, and the auspices of the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, is set to take place February 12th – 14th at the Egypt International Exhibition Center. As the primary platform highlighting Egypt’s substantial progress and ambitious development plans in the oil and gas industry, the show brings together key ministers, government officials and representatives of major global oil companies as well as local and regional national oil companies, and leading technology and service providers.
Speaking at the pre-show press conference, highlighting its strategic significance and the goals of its proceedings, H.E. Eng. Tarek El Molla, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources said, “On the back of the tremendous success achieved by the first edition, we are very optimistic about EGYPS 2018. The show’s diverse participants and attendees and its unique features make us very confident that we are on the right track. This year has kicked off with a lot of success stories for the oil and gas sector driven by local and international efforts. Our achievements to date span four mega projects. For the first time in years, we have added a capacity of 1.6 billion cubic feet of natural gas. Last week we celebrated the inauguration of Zohr gas field, and in the past months we have issued the new law regulating the gas market – one of the most important laws that will support the growth of the gas sector across all phases. We look forward to strengthening Egypt’s positioning on the global industry map as a serious contender and a regional energy hub.”
The second edition of EGYPS boasts a number of new and significant features, making it the prime destination for key regional and international investors to work hand in hand with the Egyptian government to expand its capabilities. Mr. Christopher Hudson, President dmg events Global Energy, said of EGYPS 2018, “We are very proud to be the Egyptian government’s partner in success for the second year in a row. With the significant developments in the industry and the country over the past 12 months, we see our role as even more crucial in terms of bringing together industry professionals setting up a show that is a strategic industry pillar in Egypt and the region, and which champions diversity and inclusion.”
H.E Eng. Tarek El Molla continued, “EGYPS 2018 could not have come at a better time, opening further avenues to mutual long term cooperation between the Egyptian government and major global industry players. This year EGYPS is set to witness even bigger participation and will effectively showcase our success to the world as well as our plans to continue to strengthen our achievements.”
EGYPS 2018’s opening ceremony features keynote speakers and ministerial and intergovernmental panels and includes some of the region and the world’s most prominent energy ministers and leaders including H.E. Tarek El Molla, Egypt’s Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, H.E. Mustapha Guitouni, Minister of Energy, People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, H.E. Dr Saleh Ali Hamed Al Kharabsheh, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, H.E. Gabriel Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons, Equatorial Guinea and H.E. Jabbar Ali Hussein Al Luaibi, Minister of Oil, Republic of Iraq, H. E. David Mahlobo, Minister of Energy, Republic of South Africa, H.E. Mohamed Barkindo, Secretary General, Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), H.E. Abbas Al Naqi, Secretary General, Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC), H.E. Yury Sentyurin, Secretary General, Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF),
Among the show’s highlights is “The Strategic Industry Conference”, bringing together a host of Oil & Gas executives including Claudio Descalzi, CEO, Eni, Bob Dudley, Group Chief Executive, BP, Grigoris Stergioulis, CEO, Hellenic Petroleum, Lorenzo Simonelli, Chairman & CEO, Baker Hughes, a GE Company and Mustafa Sanalla, Board Chairman, NOC Libya to name a few.
While the “CEO Strategic Roundtables” focus on the roles upstream, midstream and downstream sectors play in helping the country achieve its sustainable energy development objectives. Equally of note is the “Finance and Investment Lunch Briefing”, connecting government representatives, NOCs and IOCs with local and international banks, and private equity firms.
Continuing on the show’s other features, Hudson added, “the technical conference will run parallel to EGYPS 2018 exhibition, encompassing 31 sessions that cover more than 11 technical disciplines intended to tackle some of the most eminent matters in the energy sector.” Hudson indicated that the convention also includes the “Women in Energy Conference” - and its newly introduced Awards - and the Security and HSE in Energy conference, he said, “ “The Women in Energy” conference and awards reflect the government and industry’s commitment to inclusion and diversity, saluting and recognising the outstanding achievements and contributions of women in the sector. EGYPS 2018 will also feature the newly introduced “Security and HSE in Energy” conference, which comes at a time when the health, safety and security of human resources and infrastructure is more crucial than ever.”
EGYPS 2018 will host over 400 exhibiting companies, 15,000 attendees, 11 country pavilions from major oil producing countries that include Bahrain, China, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Russia, Scotland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States of America, more than 1,000 conference delegates, in addition to over 150 expert speakers taking part in over 50 dedicated industry sessions.
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In a few days, the bi-annual OPEC meeting will take place on November 30, leading into a wider OPEC+ meeting on December 30. This is what all the political jostling and negotiations currently taking place is leading up to, as the coalition of major oil producers under the OPEC+ banner decide on the next step of its historic and ambitious supply control plan. Designed to prop up global oil prices by managing supply, a postponement of the next phase in the supply deal is widely expected. But there are many cracks appearing beneath the headline.
A quick recap. After Saudi Arabia and Russia triggered a price war in March 2020 that led to a collapse in oil prices (with US crude prices briefly falling into negative territory due to the technical quirk), OPEC and its non-OPEC allies (known collectively as OPEC+) agreed to a massive supply quota deal that would throttle their production for 2 years. The initial figure was 10 mmb/d, until Mexico’s reticence brought that down to 9.7 mmb/d. This was due to fall to 7.7 mmb/d by July 2020, but soft demand forced a delay, while Saudi Arabia led the charge to ensure full compliance from laggards, which included Iraq, Nigeria and (unusually) the UAE. The next tranche will bring the supply control ceiling down to 5.7 mmb/d. But given that Covid-19 is still raging globally (despite promising vaccine results), this might be too much too soon. Yes, prices have recovered, but at US$40/b crude, this is still not sufficient to cover the oil-dependent budgets of many OPEC+ nations. So a delay is very likely.
But for how long? The OPEC+ Joint Technical Committee panel has suggested that the next step of the plan (which will effectively boost global supply by 2 mmb/d) be postponed by 3-6 months. This move, if adopted, will have been presaged by several public statements by OPEC+ leaders, including a pointed comment from OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo that producers must be ready to respond to ‘shifts in market fundamentals’.
On the surface, this is a necessary move. Crude prices have rallied recently – to as high as US$45/b – on positive news of Covid-19 vaccines. Treatments from Pfizer, Moderna and the Oxford University/AstraZeneca have touted 90%+ effectiveness in various forms, with countries such as the US, Germany and the UK ordering billions of doses and setting the stage for mass vaccinations beginning December. Life returning to a semblance of normality would lift demand, particularly in key products such as gasoline (as driving rates increase) and jet fuel (allowing a crippled aviation sector to return to life). Underpinning the rally is the understanding that OPEC+ will always act in the market’s favour, carefully supporting the price recovery. But there are already grouses among OPEC members that they are doing ‘too much’. Led by Saudi Arabia, the draconian dictates of meeting full compliance to previous quotas have ruffled feathers, although most members have reluctantly attempt to abide by them. But there is a wider existential issue that OPEC+ is merely allowing its rivals to resuscitate and leapfrog them once again; the US active oil rig count by Baker Hughes has reversed a chronic decline trend, as WTI prices are at levels above breakeven for US shale.
Complaints from Iran, Iraq and Nigeria are to be expected, as is from Libya as it seeks continued exemption from quotas due to the legacy of civil war even though it has recently returned to almost full production following a truce. But grievance is also coming from an unexpected quarter: the UAE. A major supporter in the Saudi Arabia faction of OPEC, reports suggest that the UAE (led by the largest emirate, Abu Dhabi) are privately questioning the benefit of remaining in OPEC. Beset by shrivelling oil revenue, the Emiratis have been grumbling about the fairness of their allocated quota as they seek to rebuild their trade-dependent economy. There has been suggestion that the Emiratis could even leave OPEC if decisions led to a net negative outcome for them. Unlike the Qatar exit, this will not just be a blow to OPEC as a whole, questioning its market relevance but to Saudi Arabia’s lead position, as it loses one of its main allies, reducing its negotiation power. And if the UAE leaves, Kuwait could follow, which would leave the Saudis even more isolated.
This could be a tactic to increase the volume of the UAE’s voice in OPEC+, which has been dominated by Saudi Arabia and Russia. But it could also be a genuine policy shift. Either way, it throws even more conundrums onto a delicate situation that could undermine an already fragile market. Despite the positive market news led by Covid-19 vaccines and demand recovery in Asia, American crude oil inventories in Cushing are now approaching similar high levels last seen in April (just before the WTI crash) while OPEC itself has lowered its global demand forecast for 2020 by 300,000 b/d. That’s dangerous territory to be treading in, especially if members of the OPEC+ club are threatening to exit and undermine the pack. A postponement of the plan seems inevitable on December 1 at this point, but it is what lies beyond the immediate horizon that is the true threat to OPEC+.
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In the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) November Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), EIA forecasts that U.S. crude oil production will remain near its current level through the end of 2021.
A record 12.9 million barrels per day (b/d) of crude oil was produced in the United States in November 2019 and was at 12.7 million b/d in March 2020, when the President declared a national emergency concerning the COVID-19 outbreak. Crude oil production then fell to 10.0 million b/d in May 2020, the lowest level since January 2018.
By August, the latest monthly data available in EIA’s series, production of crude oil had risen to 10.6 million b/d in the United States, and the U.S. benchmark price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil had increased from a monthly average of $17 per barrel (b) in April to $42/b in August. EIA forecasts that the WTI price will average $43/b in the first half of 2021, up from our forecast of $40/b during the second half of 2020.
The U.S. crude oil production forecast reflects EIA’s expectations that annual global petroleum demand will not recover to pre-pandemic levels (101.5 million b/d in 2019) through at least 2021. EIA forecasts that global consumption of petroleum will average 92.9 million b/d in 2020 and 98.8 million b/d in 2021.
The gradual recovery in global demand for petroleum contributes to EIA’s forecast of higher crude oil prices in 2021. EIA expects that the Brent crude oil price will increase from its 2020 average of $41/b to $47/b in 2021.
EIA’s crude oil price forecast depends on many factors, especially changes in global production of crude oil. As of early November, members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and partner countries (OPEC+) were considering plans to keep production at current levels, which could result in higher crude oil prices. OPEC+ had previously planned to ease production cuts in January 2021.
Other factors could result in lower-than-forecast prices, especially a slower recovery in global petroleum demand. As COVID-19 cases continue to increase, some parts of the United States are adding restrictions such as curfews and limitations on gatherings and some European countries are re-instituting lockdown measures.
EIA recently published a more detailed discussion of U.S. crude oil production in This Week in Petroleum.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts that members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will earn about $323 billion in net oil export revenues in 2020. If realized, this forecast revenue would be the lowest in 18 years. Lower crude oil prices and lower export volumes drive this expected decrease in export revenues.
Crude oil prices have fallen as a result of lower global demand for petroleum products because of responses to COVID-19. Export volumes have also decreased under OPEC agreements limiting crude oil output that were made in response to low crude oil prices and record-high production disruptions in Libya, Iran, and to a lesser extent, Venezuela.
OPEC earned an estimated $595 billion in net oil export revenues in 2019, less than half of the estimated record high of $1.2 trillion, which was earned in 2012. Continued declines in revenue in 2020 could be detrimental to member countries’ fiscal budgets, which rely heavily on revenues from oil sales to import goods, fund social programs, and support public services. EIA expects a decline in net oil export revenue for OPEC in 2020 because of continued voluntary curtailments and low crude oil prices.
The benchmark Brent crude oil spot price fell from an annual average of $71 per barrel (b) in 2018 to $64/b in 2019. EIA expects Brent to average $41/b in 2020, based on forecasts in EIA’s October 2020 Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO). OPEC petroleum production averaged 36.6 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2018 and fell to 34.5 million b/d in 2019; EIA expects OPEC production to decline a further 3.9 million b/d to average 30.7 million b/d in 2020.
EIA based its OPEC revenues estimate on forecast petroleum liquids production—including crude oil, condensate, and natural gas plant liquids—and forecast values of OPEC petroleum consumption and crude oil prices.
EIA recently published a more detailed discussion of OPEC revenue in This Week in Petroleum.