France: Comments from IFP's Panorama 2003 ///

On February 6, 2003, more than 200 people attended Panorama 2003, the 8th international colloquium devoted to the current state of world energy, organized by IFP in connection with the Great National Debate on Energy. During this colloquium, Jean-Francois Giannesini, adviser to the Chairman and CEO of IFP, and various other experts, analyzed the geopolitical energy context in 2002, as well as the issues surrounding world reserves and the supply of oil and gas. Several points, discussed at the conference by Mr. Giannesini are summarized here. In 2002, the geopolitical energy context was characterized by significant instability and, according to Mr. Giannesini, there were five major events which stood out during the year. First, there was great pressure on the oil market while a resolution of the Iraqi crisis was sought. Despite only a slight increase in demand compared to the previous year, price rises were toward the top end of the range hoped for by OPEC, i.e., 22 and 28 $/bbl. Of known reserves, Iraq is ranked second in the world and if, in addition to this, it is true that its production costs are among the lowest in the world, it is clear that, where oil is concerned, the stakes relating to this country are high.

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