Oil breakeven prices in Middle East and North Africa 2016

This statistic shows the estimated breakeven oil prices for 2016 in Middle Eastern and Northern African countries, in U.S. dollars per barrel, based on imports. In that year, the breakeven oil price based on imports in Libya was some 134.10 U.S. dollars.

Breakeven oil prices

A breakeven oil price is the price at which oil must be sold in order to recover the costs associated with its production. With the recent downturn in the global oil industry, breakeven oil prices are an important measure of an oil extractor's ability to remain profitable. Breakeven oil prices vary greatly throughout the world due to the widely differing costs associated with extracting different types of oil, the unique circumstances associated with oil extraction in different oil-producing regions, and so on.

In times of economic downturn, oil resources with higher breakeven costs are the first to be discontinued. Unconventional oil resources, such as oil sands and shale oil, are more expensive to produce than conventional oil, and therefore suffer when oil prices drop. Since the oil glut began in 2014, even conventional oil deposits that are more expensive to extract are decreasing production. This has lead to significant economic impacts in places where the economy is closely tied to oil, such as Venezuela, which has oil sands deposits in addition to conventional oil resources. While oil prices have increased slightly since a record low in January 2016, it is uncertain how long it will take for oil prices to recover more substantially, if at all.

Breakeven oil prices in Middle Eastern and North African countries in 2016 (in U.S. dollars per barrel)*

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Release date

July 2017


Africa, MENA

Survey time period


Supplementary notes

* Based on imports.

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