Total last year overhauled Anglo-Dutch rival Shell to become the second largest IOC (in terms of output) in the MENA region, closing in on number one player ExxonMobil. Its regional oil and gas output is set to remain relatively flat this year, but the French major has been busily laying the groundwork for production gains in 2017. Total is increasingly focusing on this region: unlike its peers, which are increasingly focusing any spare cash on the US in general and Texas’ Permian basin in particular (MEES, 4 November).

With global upstream investment having declined for two straight years, industry figures increasingly warn of potentially serious repercussions of a third consecutive annual contraction in 2017. Falling investment is paving the way for a supply shortfall and resultant price spike in the not-too distant future, the argument goes. (CONTINUED - 1384 WORDS)