Drilling activity in Iraq in July fell to its lowest since May 2012, dropping to just 39 rigs according to Houston-based oil field services firm Baker Hughes. Although Gazprom Neft is boosting production at its Badra field to 65,000 b/d by year end, other firms are maintaining strict limits on investment.

GCC heavyweights Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman have kept their drilling activity at near-record levels (see graph) this year despite the adverse affects of sustained low oil prices. Saudi...