THE FUTURE OF THE MIDDLE EAST DOWNSTREAM SECTOR
The steady decline in world crude oil prices from their highs of above $110 per barrel in mid – 2014, to the sub – $40 level – at the end of 2015 – is providing the Middle East’s downstream sector with an almost unprecedented opportunity to expand.
For decades, much of the focus within the region has been on the upstream oil and gas sector. But now, attention is turning to refined oil products and petrochemicals as the ability to benefit from better profit margins as cheaper feedstock becomes more evident.
Those Middle East oil companies that years ago had the foresight to invest heavily in the downstream sector, now find their decisions vindicated. In 2015, they were able to gain some partial relief from the collapse in crude oil revenue, through higher downstream margins.