Middle East holds the key to oil price stability: StocExpo Middle East Africa kicks off in Dubai
Thursday, Apr 27, 2017
StocExpo Middle East Africa – the region’s leading exhibition and conference and only dedicated event for the bulk liquid storage industry - got underway yesterday in Dubai.

Taking place on April 26th and 27th at the Dubai World Trade Centre, StocExpo Middle East Africa is supported by the UAE Ministry of Energy, alongside many oil majors, ports, terminals and institutions including ENOC, Fujairah Oil Terminal, GPS Chemoil, Gulf Refining Co., Gulf Petrochem, Horizon Terminals, Siddco, Socar Aurora and Hamriyah Free Zone Authority.

Over the two days, participants from across the entire Middle East and African regions gain valuable insights from high-profile industry leaders in the conference, and experience a showcase of leading-edge technology and innovations at the event’s exhibition.

Speaking at the opening of the conference yesterday, Patrick Kulsen, Managing Director of PJK International, pointed to the Middle East’s continuing importance as a “global hotspot for investment, not only by the tank storage industry…but other downstream sectors too”.

In the keynote sessions that followed, Christof Rühl, Global Head of Research at the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority set out why OPEC’s strategy of cutting production has not succeeded in pushing up prices, as it would have done in the past. The ability of US shale producers to cut costs in order to continue producing, and the global inventory overhang have meant a ceiling for oil prices just below $60 per barrel, that will be hard to break through without much more drastic cuts and inventory drawdowns. Global demand is no longer lending a helping hand, remaining relatively flat for the foreseeable future.

In the immediate future, the Middle East holds the key to stable oil prices, with the region taking the lion’s share of the burden of production cuts. While OPEC production cuts look set to be extended, it has regained market share, with Iran the principal beneficiary among members.

Sessions for the remainder of the day considered the regional outlook for the bulk storage industry, the current state of the industry in specific markets, and oil pricing.
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