Drilling in the Middle East rose to an 18-month high in June with 406 active rigs, the most since December 2015’s 409 rigs. The rig count average of 401 for the first half of 2017 is a record for the first six months of any year.

Drilling in the region has remained at near-record levels according to the Rig Count numbers of GE subsidiary Baker Hughes. This is despite Opec’s decision to freeze output in November last year in a bid to help an oil price recovery. This is both as...