BP had a mixed 2016 in Mena with liquids output edging up while high natural decline rates at its Egyptian gas assets saw overall gas output fall. But with key startups set for the second half of the year and BP’s return to Abu Dhabi’s onshore, 2017 is set to be a major year.

Recent years have all been about cost-cutting for BP and other IOCs as they have bunkered down to weather the storm of low oil prices. And while IOCs are still being cautious, they are beginning to loosen...