MRC Global InSight

Europe, Middle East & Africa


In the upstream sector, greenfield projects that are finalizing in 2019 are predominantly shallow water developments in the UK and Norway. The European hydrocarbon market will produce a higher volume of oil flow from new projects, largely from the completion of Norway’s giant Johan Sverdrup project, as well as a number of independent exploration and production companies' (E&P) investments in the UK North Sea.

Total investment in the Norwegian Continental Shelf is expected to reach approximately $20.35 billion (175 BNOK) in 2019, which is approximately 13% above 2018 expenditures. Capital investment will be a mixture of increased production and subsea upgrades.

There is some uncertainty caused by the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. At the time of this publication, both parties have not reached an agreement on terms for the future relationship. A “no deal” Brexit remains a possibility, which puts the future investment in UK oil and gas production at risk.

The European downstream sector is expected to be busy in the coming year...there is also an upside to midstream investments...

The European downstream sector is expected to be busy in the coming year. Major players in the chemical sector, such as INEOS, TOTAL Olefins and Borealis, have announced substantial investments to increase their manufacturing capacities. Consequently, there is also an upside to midstream investments as companies, such as Sea Tank, develop increased storage capacities. Turnaround activity is expected to be brisk as brownfield projects will also contributing to a busy outlook for European refining in 2019.


Activity in the Caspian region remains strong, most notably in Kazakhstan, with major turnarounds scheduled in the Kashagan, Tengiz and Karachaganak fields in 2019. Expansion projects also continue to progress. For example, the North East Ring Project (NERP) has been announced by Tengizchevroil with a budget of $5 billion. The project will deliver 66 new wells and FID is expected in November 2019.

Activity in the Caspian region remains strong...

In Azerbaijan, the Azeri Central East (ACE) Project will increase output from the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli (ACG) oil field by 100,000 b/d of production.

Middle East & Africa

Planned investments in the Middle East and North Africa for the energy sector are estimated at $574 billion over the next five years. The power sector accounts for the largest share of investments, at $187 billion. The oil and gas sectors will represent $169 billion and $150 billion respectively, while the remaining investments are dedicated to petrochemicals. Projects in pre-FEED represent the largest portion of these planned investments at $251 billion. Given the current investment climate and uncertain outlook, we do not anticipate that all projects under this phase will be approved. Contracts in the design stage and EPC phases are most likely to gain approval. Projects under contract bid total $92 billion, while those in the design phase total $86 billion.

Planned investments in the Middle East and North Africa for the energy sector are estimated at $574 billion over the next five years.

When combined, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) represent 38% of planned investments over the next five years. KSA has significant plans to increase gas production and to increase the role of gas in its energy exports, which is currently utilized entirely for domestic use in power generation and industry. The KSA is also planning to continue investing in petrochemicals in its drive to diversify and create more value. Two planned major projects include the Jubail Oil-to-Chemical Complex and the Yanbu Integrated Refinery and Petrochemicals Complex.

Sources: Offshore Technology, MEED, Focus Economics