Political instability has limited impact on Arab oil supplies

22 May 2012 11:06  [Source: ICIS news]

BARCELONA (ICIS)--Despite the important role played by Arab oil producers in the oil and refining industry, political instability has only a limited impact on oil prices and supply to the international markets, a senior industry official said on Tuesday.

Imad Nassif Makki, senior refining expert for the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries, was speaking at the 6th annual Global Refining Summit in Barcelona, Spain.

Makki added that while many analysts believe political unrest could lead to volatility in the oil markets, the situation today is very different from that during previous oil crises, as any impact can be managed.

Reasons for this include cooperation between producing and consuming countries, with better dialogue now taking place.

Makki pointed out that recent disruption to Libyan oil supplies during the conflict in the country was rapidly compensated for by other exporting countries.

There are comfortable levels of spare capacity, both upstream and downstream – meaning that with some adjustments supplies should remain sufficient to meet requirements.

Also, maximising the performance of existing refineries and investing in new refining capacity helps to ensure security of supply.

While in the short- to medium-term uncertainty regarding the global economic crisis has delayed investment in some projects, the long-term view is one of socioeconomic development.

The forecast for total investment in Arab oil producing countries’ refineries in 2010–2016 is $201bn (€157bn).

($1 = €0.78)


By: Jo Pitches
+44 208 652 3214



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