By James Buckley
Large energy players are looking increasingly to joint ventures and information sharing to get ahead.
Several trends are emerging in the Middle East to create some unique challenges for the region. An unprecedented run of high oil prices and a desire to feed the world's growing oil markets is creating ambitious plans for oil capacity expansion - putting further strains on an already stretched supply chain.
National desire to create employment and diversify economies is creating substantial GDP growth - putting a strain on already stretched natural resources. Gas supply and its security has emerged as a concern for importers, most in need for its use as industrial feedstock and in power generation, causing exporters to reconsider the best destinations and pricing for their gas.
Both oil and gas resources are becoming technically more challenging, and the expectation to resolve all this and deliver on a variety of promises is falling increasingly on the heads of the NOCs in a climate of tough competition for talent.
More and more governments and IOCs are collaborating to forge long-term partnerships, to bring leading technologies and experience from around the world and to innovate and try new approaches.