The combined Middle East liquids share for the five supermajors – US firms ExxonMobil and Chevron, Total of France, Anglo-Dutch Shell and the UK’s BP – fell to around 1.23mn b/d for 2016, down 2% from 2015’s 1.265mn b/d. Exxon retained its crown as the number one liquids producer in the Middle East with 384,000 b/d, despite its output falling 14,000 b/d.

But in 2017, the gap between first and second could narrow to virtually zero. BP is on track to overtake Total and Shell in the region thanks to strong performance in Iraq and its return to onshore Abu Dhabi and will end up just behind ExxonMobil. At the other end of the spectrum, Chevron’s regional woes deepened in 2016, with its only previously-producing assets in the Saudi-Kuwait Partitioned Neutral Zone (PNZ) shut in for the full year. A restart later this year is possible. Elsewhere, Chevron plans to submit a field development plan (FDP) for its Sarta block in Iraqi Kurdistan soon. (CONTINUED - 1750 WORDS)