Saudi Arabia

Middle East

Gulf pay rises lowest in a decade


Average private sector pay rise across the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council is set to be lower in 2016 than at any time over the past 10 years, despite the rising cost of living caused by cuts in government subsidies, according to a new survey.

Middle East

Saudi Arabia sets Asian oil benchmark at highest since October


Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest crude exporter, raised the price formula for shipments of its benchmark grade to Asia for April to the highest since October, while lowering prices for all cargoes to the US. State-owned Saudi Arabian Oil Co. set the official selling price for Arab Light crude shipments to Asia at a 75 cent- discount to the regional benchmark, the company said in an e- mailed statement. That’s more expensive, by 25 cents, than March shipments. The decision is the reverse of that predicted by local traders and refiners: six surveyed had expected the exports to be made cheaper, by 50 cents.

Oil & Gas

Iran to increase oil exports Opec envoy says


Iran has snubbed a proposal agreed to by four oil powerhouses to cap their crude output if other producers do the same, with a senior official saying Tehran has no intention of freezing production levels.

Middle East

Saudi, Russian oil ministers said to plan talks in Qatar


Saudi Arabia’s oil minister plans to meet with his Russian counterpart in Doha on Tuesday to discuss the oil market, according to a person familiar with the talks. Ali al-Naimi, the most senior oil official of the world’s biggest crude exporter, will speak with Russia’s Alexander Novak in the Qatari capital, according to the person, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private.

Middle East

Oil drops as Saudis to maintain spending, China diesel use falls


Oil dropped after Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest crude exporter, said low prices won’t reduce its spending on energy projects and China’s diesel consumption dropped for a fourth consecutive month. Futures dropped as much as 4.6 percent in New York. Saudi Arabian Oil Co., also known as Saudi Aramco, is maintaining its investment plans despite the rout in the crude market, Chairman Khalid Al-Falih said Monday. Diesel use in China dropped 5.6 percent in December compared with a year earlier and gasoline consumption grew at the slowest pace in more than two years.

Oil & Gas

Iran’s Supreme Leader condemns Saudi embassy attack


Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said a mob attack on the Saudi embassy in Tehran earlier had “hurt” the Islamic Republic, in a speech that also praised officials who secured the lifting of sanctions over the weekend. Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic and commercial ties with Iran after protesters stormed the mission in response to the execution by Saudi authorities of a prominent Shiite cleric on Jan. 2, deepening tensions between two powers on opposing sides in many of the region’s conflicts.

Middle East

Saudi growth at 14-year low as oil prices tumble


Saudi Arabia’s economy is set to grow this year at the slowest pace since 2002 as the oil-price plunge drains the kingdom’s finances, according to projections released by the International Monetary Fund and HSBC.