Oil officials meet in Kuwait to discuss OPEC, Iran

Key topics for discussion were the return of Iranian oil on the market and OPEC's role in reducing oil price volatility

Discussions addressed key challenges facing the oil and gas industry today.
Discussions addressed key challenges facing the oil and gas industry today.

Senior ministers and oil officials met at the Kuwait Energy Strategy Forum on Tuesday to discuss key challenges facing the global energy sector today.

The conference, which took place at the Sheraton Hotel in Kuwait City, brought together an international audience, attracting over 300 delegates from 20 different countries, including Japan, Indonesia and the United States.

One of the key areas of discussion at the event was the role of OPEC and the necessity for oil-producing nations to work together to reduce price volatility.

2016 has seen a period of significant volatility in the oil market, with prices falling to 13-year lows earlier in January, before surging to post the biggest two-day jump in more than seven years last week.

For supplier nations such as those in the GCC, the volatility poses significant challenges to financial planning, while oil and energy companies need to consider significant changes in their business models and strategies for development

"Global exploration and production (upstream) spending is forecast to fall from about 850 billion dollars in 2014, by more than 20%, in 2015, while the level in 2014 over 2013 had increased by 3%," said Nizar Al-Adsani, CEO of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC).

"It will take time, probably two years for these changes to have an effect on future supplies.

"Global upstream spending is expected to decline by 18% in 2016. This would be the first time since 1986, that consecutive declines in spending were recorded," he added.

Speakers at the event also focused on how producers would manage the return of Iranian oil to the market, after the removal of sanctions, as well as the continuing disruptive impact of shale, gas and renewables.

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