(MENAFN - Arab Times) We believe Kuwait's ambitious plans to develop into the oil and gas capital of the world has much potential with APICORP's mandate and strategy which is focused on supporting the development of the Arab hydrocarbon and petrochemical industries along with promoting cooperation and economic integration in the regional industry", says Ahmed Bin Hamada Al Nuaimi, Chief Executive and General Manager of APICORP, as he spoke at the APICORP2013 one day symposium on the theme "Global & Regional Energy Markets - Trends & Challenges" held at the Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel, Kuwait, Monday. Energy industry leaders from across the GCC region converged at Kuwait's Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel for the second annual APICORP2013 Symposium that sought to discuss the outlook for oil and gas markets in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region over the next few years.
Organized by the Arab Petroleum Investment Corporation (APICORP), the multilateral development bank owned by the ten member nations of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Countries (OAPEC), the symposium discussed market trends and challenges faced by the industry against the background of ongoing political turmoil in parts of the region, the expanding global map of oil and gas resources as well as the vulnerabilities created by the rapid growth of domestic energy markets. Ahmed Bin Hamada Al Nuaimi, Chief Executive and General Manager of APICORP in his introductory speech said that the APICORP2013 Symposium was a perfect platform to discuss the global shifts taking place in energy supply and demand and the impact they're having on the region's oil and gas industries.
The event also offered an opportunity to discuss the confluence of several new trends seen in the industry stretching across resources, policy, economic growth and security. Al Nuaimi added that as a dynamic oil and gas hub, Kuwait, one of the largest share holders of APICORP with a 17 percent stake, provided the organization an ideal setting to share ideas, aspirations and generate solutions for the oil and gas industry's challenges. Kuwait has been a supporter of APICORP's mandate and growth initiatives. It was in Kuwait almost four decades ago that APICORP was established and announced following an agreement signed by the ten member states of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries.
"We believe Kuwait's ambitious plans to develop into the oil and gas capital of the world has many potential with APICORP's mandate and strategy which is focused on supporting the development of the Arab hydrocarbon and petrochemical industries along with promoting cooperation and economic integration in the regional industry", noted Al Nuaimi. The main speakers at the symposium addressed three critical themes; Oil Markets and Prices, Current Trends Future Outlook, Shale Oil; Expected Developments and their Implications, as well as MENA Natural Gas: Growing Shortfall and the Issue of Domestic Pricing.
Dr Roberto Sieber, Chief Economist and Global Head of Market Analysis at Hess Energy Trading Company (HETCO), provided his medium term outlook on the global oil market, particularly focusing on the impact of North American unconventional energy revolution on global oil supply and demand. He analysed the gap between market expectations and reality in the past and shared his views on the economy, oil consumption, the price range for international oil and changes in the refining industry and their implications for trade flows.
Next speaker on the platform was Dr Bassam Fattouh, Director of Oil and Middle East Program at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, took the analysis of the US Shale revolution a step further by assessing its implications for Middle East producers. He also provided insights on the drivers of the shale revolution and outlined two possible scenarios of its impact on oil supply dynamics and trade flows. Dr Fattouh also discussed the impact of the US oil supply shock on the Middle East's key producers.
Last but far from the least of the speakers was Dr Hakim Darbouche, Commercial Advisor at OMV Exploration & Production, focused on factors shaping domestic gas pricing in the MENA region. He indicated that driven in large part by artificially low domestic prices, demand for natural gas in most countries of the region has grown faster than supply since the early 2000s with the resultant gas deficit and pricing policy issues no longer to be ignored.
Dr Darbouche argued that unless current policies are adjusted to reflect new regional gas market realities, the MENA region will increasingly become an import centre rather than a major source of new supply. The inaugural APICORP Symposium was held in Bahrain in 2012 last year, exploring the impact of the shifting global economic environment and the changing political and energy landscape in MENA on the region's energy investment outlook.