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Pandemic strains Gulf’s domestic energy balances

International attention may have focused on their Opec+ oil market stabilisation role. But the region’s NOCs have had concerns closer to home

Mid-East Gulf firms have been prominent actors in the global energy market’s response to the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic. But they have also had to contend with profound effects on their domestic energy markets. Their responses have been largely successful but highlight the need for greater flexibility and continuing restructuring. As in the rest of the world, the pandemic brought a collapse in mobility. Saudi gasoline consumption plummeted from 583,000bl/d in January to 231,000bl/d in April and had rebounded only partially to 482,000bl/d by September. Airports were virtually shut down in April and May (see Fig.1), and only Dubai and Riyadh have since staged a partial rec



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