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Headline Story: Libyan oil production expected to hit pre-war levels by next year

Libya’s oil industry will be producing 1.6m barrels per day by the end of 2012, the National
Oil Corporation has said. Around 10% of the country’s pipelines were damaged during the
eight months of fighting, but none of the major oilfields was adversely affected. Before the
war, oil production accounted for 80% of government revenue and 90% of exports. With oil
prices hovering around $100 per barrel, Libya’s 6.6m people could become significantly
richer in the coming years, if political stability is maintained. Libya has significant oil reserves
but the Gaddafi regime restricted exploration and production. It is hoped that Libya could
soon be hitting 3m barrels per day, the level it produced 50 years ago.

Key Data:

Unemployment                                         10%
Inflation                                            6%
Export/Import data:                                  70% GDP from oil and gas + see below.
Current account deficit/surplus                      $332bn in 2011.
Stories behind the figures:

        Kuwait political stalemate could delay faster growth: Real growth is expected at 4.4% this
         year, driven by stronger oil production. Continued political friction between the prime
         minister and the parliament could delay much-needed reforms to stimulate the private
         sector. The fiscal surplus is expected to widen to 23.5% of GDP due to higher oil prices.
         Foreign assets will rise further to $350 billion. (Copied
         direct from source as article is cached)

        Noose looks set to tighten around Syrian economy: Possible financial sanctions by the Arab
         League against Syria could cut the country’s GDP by as much as 10%, says Capital Economic
         (London). 18 League members who represent 23% of Syria’s trade voted for sanctions as did
         non-Arab Turkey, which accounts for 7%. The US and EU have already imposed sanctions on
         Syrian oil, which hits 25% of the nation’s trade. To date, the sanctions have seen Syria’s
         currency drop 10% against the dollar and have eroded its $18bn foreign reserves.

        The future of oil and gas: The Economist says that oil consumption will increase from 88m
         barrels per day to 99m in 25 years time. 90% of the increase in production will come from
         the MENA region. The average break even cost per barrel in the region, in which extraction
         is relatively easy, will rise from $13 to $15 in 2035. Extraction costs will rise more sharply in
         other oil producers, namely South America where deepwater deposits will require costly
         extraction techniques.

        Qatar Air says ‘belt up’ as Middle East carriers pull in orders: Emirates placed a $24bn order
         at this year’s Dubai Air Show – the largest order taken by Boeing in its history. With regional
         competitor Qatar Airways also placing a large order, the Middle East is fast becoming a long-
         distance travel hub. The regions number three airline, Etihad, is also adding planes to its
         fleet. “Some of this may be speculative, but they seem determined to convert oil wells into
         aviation market share”, said analyst, Richard Aboulafia of the Teal Group.

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