Corporate

MENA has the world's largest upstream reserves. But tough terms and, in some countries, an outright ban on foreign operators, means it is often a difficult hunting ground for international oil firms. Total sees the advantage in low-cost barrels in Abu Dhabi, and underpriced (it reckons) Libya assets. Chinese and Russian firms are also expanding. But many US firms are pulling back, eyeing better returns in domestic shale.

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