Saudi Arabia

Oil & Gas

Iran says most of OPEC supports cut except Gulf Arab states


The majority of OPEC members would agree to a reduction in crude production at Friday’s meeting, with the exception of Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf Arab countries, Shana reported, citing Mehdi Asali, director general of OPEC and energy forums at the Iranian Ministry of Petroleum.

Other News

Saudi Aramco signs MoU with Hyundai Heavy Industries


Saudi Aramco has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on new business opportunities with HHI (Hyundai Heavy Industries) in Saudi Arabia. The MoU included a multi-faceted framework in areas such as engineering, procurement and construction, downstream, and the development of a casting and forging facility. The agreement also includes the development of a maritime yard in the country.

Other News

Oil worker sentenced in Saudi Arabia returns home to family in UK


A British grandfather who was sentenced to a flogging for breaking Saudi Arabia’s strict anti-alcohol laws has been reunited with his family in the UK. Karl Andree, 74, was threatened with 350 lashes after he was caught with home-made wine in Jeddah. He was put on a plane to Britain on Tuesday night after being freed from a Saudi prison, where he had been locked up since August last year.

Other News

Saudi Arabia to tackle global bond markets for first time amid low oil prices


Saudi Arabia could soon tap into international bond markets for the first time, according to reports. The Financial Times said the move was a growing signal of the challenges the country faces as lower oil prices impact its public finances. Officials in the country said Saudi Arabia could increase its debt levels by up to 50% of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) within five years.

Oil & Gas

Saudi Arabia could raise domestic energy prices


Saudi Arabia’s oil minister said the country is looking at raising domestic energy prices. Ali al-Naimi made the announcement in a move which could help reduce a lavish system of subsidies which has been blamed for waste and surging fuel consumption.

Oil & Gas

Saudi Arabia said to delay contractor payments after oil slump


Saudi Arabia is delaying payments to government contractors as the slump in oil prices pushes the country into a deficit for the first time since 2009, according to three people with knowledge of the matter. Companies working on infrastructure projects have been waiting six months or more for payments as the government seeks to preserve cash, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. Delays have increased this year and the government has also been seeking to cut prices on contracts, the people said.

Oil & Gas

Oil glut to persist as global demand slows says IEA


A global oil supply glut will persist through 2016 as demand growth slows from a five-year high and key OPEC producers maintain near-record output, the International Energy Agency said on Tuesday, even as low prices curb supply outside OPEC.

Oil & Gas

Saudi Arabia withdrew billions from markets, estimates show


Saudi Arabia has withdrawn as much as $70 billion from global asset managers as OPEC’s largest oil producer seeks to plug its budget deficit, according to financial services market intelligence company Insight Discovery. "Fund managers we’ve spoken to estimate SAMA has pulled out between $50 billion to $70 billion from global asset managers over the past six months," Nigel Sillitoe, chief executive officer of the Dubai-based firm, said by telephone Monday. "Saudi Arabia is withdrawing funds because it’s trying to cut its widening deficit and it’s financing the war in Yemen," he said, declining to name the fund managers. Saudi Arabia is seeking to halt the erosion of its finances after oil prices halved in the past year. The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority’s reserves held in foreign securities have fallen about 10 percent from a peak of $737 billion in August 2014, to $661 billion in July, according to central bank data. The government is accelerating bond sales to help sustain spending.


Opinion: Saudi Arabia oil and gas – The eye of the storm


A year is a long time in the oil and gas industry and that has been especially true for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), caught in a maelstrom of geo-political, economic and market factors. In August 2014, Saudi Aramco announced US$40 billion a year of spending for the next 10 years on capital programmes. The year ended with the Saudi government projecting a US$40 billion budget deficit in 2015 and then came last month’s announcement of US$27 billion of bond issues by the end of this year to bolster the national finances even after a string of project cancellations and postponements. Over this period, the country has been locked in a struggle to regain market supremacy over US shale production while dealing with the West’s improving relations with Iran, its regional challenger, a royal succession and a spate of terrorism attacks.

Oil & Gas

OPEC said to be split on need for long-term oil-price forecasts


Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies are at odds with Iran and other OPEC members over whether the organization should include oil-price forecasts in its long-term strategy report, according to three of the group’s delegates. The Gulf kingdom, which has led the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in a battle against rival producers, is seeking to exclude price assumptions from the report, according to the delegates, who asked not to be identified because the document isn’t public. The disagreement reflects internal divisions over whether OPEC policy should focus on prices or the stability of the oil market, one of the delegates said.

Oil & Gas

Saudis get that 1998 feeling as lower oil price threatens wealth


The oil price was near its lowest in more than a decade, cash reserves were being depleted, emerging markets were in turmoil and Saudi Arabia was beginning to panic. “It was a very scary moment,” said Khalid Alsweilem, former head of investment at the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, the country’s central bank. “And luckily at that point, oil prices started going up. Not by design, by good luck.” That was 1998, and now Saudi Arabia’s fortunes threaten to turn again. This time, luck might not be enough as the government tries to protect the wealth of a nation whose economy has swelled by five times since then. The bastion of conservative Sunni Islam also is paying for an expanding role in regional conflicts in the face of a resurgent Iran and Islamic State extremists who have bombed Saudi mosques.

Market info

Unruffled in Riyadh, Saudis stick with stocks as oil tumbles


The Saudi stock market is showing its mettle in the face of the latest oil rout that drove Brent into a bear market in July. The kingdom’s Tadawul All Share Index has retreated 4.2 percent since the end of June, compared with declines of 15 percent in Brazil in dollar terms, 11 percent in Russia and almost 10 percent in Nigeria. Brent, the benchmark oil grade against which Saudi crude is priced, has tumbled 21 percent in that period. The resilience shows how the world’s biggest crude producer is riding out the slump thanks to the confidence of locals who account for almost all the $525 billion market’s investors and the government’s determination to press ahead with infrastructure spending.

Other News

PM pays tribute to Saudi Arabia’s Prince Saud al-Faisal


David Cameron has paid tribute to Saudi Arabia’s Prince Saud al-Faisal, the world’s longest-serving foreign minister, for his “great wisdom” following his death aged 75. Prince Saud was in the post for four decades until his retirement in April. His tenure saw him navigate the oil-rich region through a number of crises, including Lebanon’s civil war in the 1970s and 1980s, the 9/11 terror attacks in the US and subsequent invasion of Iraq, and most recently the rise of Islamic State (IS). The Prime Minister echoed comments by US secretary of state John Kerry who previously hailed Prince Saud as being “among the wisest” foreign ministers. Mr Cameron said: “I am saddened to hear of the death of His Royal Highness Prince Saud al Faisal.

Middle East

McDermott International wins Saudi Aramco contract


McDermott International has been awarded a large brownfield contract by Saudi Aramco for the engineering, procurement, construction and installation of 12 jackets for offshore oil and gas fields in Saudi Arabian waters. The work is scheduled for completion by the end of the first quarter of 2016. The award is the second for the company from Saudi Aramco this year, and represents a work scope bud under an existing long-term agreement.