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GIF Energy Tracker

GIF Energy Tracker

2021
March 25, 2021

Saudi storage tank catches fire near Yemeni border

A missile strike on a Saudi Aramco site near Yemen set a storage tank on fire, the latest in a series of attacks lobbed at Saudi Arabia this month by Yemen’s Houthi group. The Saudi Press Agency condemned the attack for its impact on the kingdom and beyond, threatening the stability of global energy supplies.

March 25, 2021

Suez Canal closure will significantly delay oil trade

Approximately 40 oil and LNG tankers are held up by the blockage of the Suez Canal, including vessels from Saudi Arabia and UAE. Reopening could take days or even weeks, while a detour around the Horn of Africa would take about two weeks.

March 23, 2021

OPEC+ wil reach oil inventory goal later this year

OPEC+ will reach 2019-levels of global oil inventories later this year. The Asia head of Vitol, the world’s largest independent oil trader, stated that demand is recovering in China, and the U.S. has lagged in production growth.

March 21, 2021

Aramco profit falls 44% in 2020; maintains $75 billion dividend

Though it maintained a $75 billion dollar dividend payout, CEO Amin Nasser of Saudi Aramco reported a 44% slump in full-year 2020 results and called it one of the most “challenging years” in recent history. Net income fell from $88.19 billion in 2019 to $49 billion in 2020.

March 21, 2021

Saudi Aramco will prioritize energy supply to China for 50 years

Saudi Aramco’s CEO said at the China Development Forum that the oil giant will ensure that Chinese energy security is its highest priority for the next 50 years. It has held firm onto its status as China’s top supplier of oil so far this year.

 

March 21, 2021

Saudi Public Investment Fund hires senior Goldman Sachs banker

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund hired a senior Goldman Sachs banker to work on investments. Bloomberg reported the move, though neither PIF nor the alleged banker responded to requests for comments.

March 17, 2021

OPEC supply growth will be outpaced by rise in oil demand

According to the International Energy Agency, OPEC will have to pump oil at near-maximum capacity in the coming years due to rising demand for oil and lackluster upstream investment. OPEC will need to boost crude procession by more than 20% once oil demand rebounds, and the market will be more vulnerable to supply squeezes and disruptions.

 

March 16, 2021

International Renewable Energy Agency claims oil demand may have peaked in 2019

The director general of International Renewable Energy Agency said that global oil demand may have peaked in 2019, with natural gas following suit around 2025. IRENA’s prediction echoes BP’s projection last year that the pandemic may mark a permanent departure from the demand level of about 100 million barrels per day.

March 16, 2021

Saudi Arabia aims for 1 million barrel per day reduction in domestic oil consumption

Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister stated the country’s intention to repurpose domestic consumption of liquid hydrocarbons by 1 million barrels per day. At the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue, he discussed the launching of a sustainability program to explore further opportunities for innovation and collaboration.

March 14, 2021

Iraq says Kurdistan has not yet delivered crude barrels to Baghdad, continuing budget stalemate

Iraq continues to wait for barrels of crude from the Kurdistan Regional Government, continuing a budget stalemate regarding crude production and federal revenue. Baghdad has often blamed the KRG for non-compliance with OPEC+ cuts.

March 10, 2021

Iraqi oil production, output rises, breaching OPEC+ quota

Iraq’s oil production in February rose 1.6% from January in a breach of OPEC+’s quota. Both federal and Kurdish production and exports rose, continuing its pattern of failing to comply with OPEC+ agreements.

March 9, 2021

Abu Dhabi seeks new carbon capture and hydrogen partnerships

As oil’s recovery has resparked conversations about climate change mitigation, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company is exploring partnerships on carbon capture and storage technology. It recently partnered with France’s oil giant Total, and is openly exploring hydrogen’s potential as “close to zero-carbon fuel.”

March 8, 2021

Qatar exports condensate to UAE, a first since end of blockade

In the first commercial energy trade since the end of the Gulf blockade, Qatar Petroleum shipped 712,000 barrels of condensate to UAE.

March 8, 2021

Saudi Arabia leads OPEC+ push to 4-month low crude output

With OPEC+ group quota compliance at 113.5%, the coalition has successfully driven output to a four-month low. The crude output for February is estimated to be 37.83 million b/d, the lowest OPEC+ has seen since October. Saudi Arabia’s voluntary additional cuts have played a crucial role in the coalition’s balancing act. OPEC+ is likely to carry on cautiously with supply throughout April, with COVID-19 clouding the prospects for a full market recovery. 

March 8, 2021

In first commercial energy trade since end of blockade, Qatar ships condensate to UAE

According to data analytics from Kepler, Qatar officially conducted its first commercial energy trade since the end of the Gulf blockade in January on March 3. Qatar Petroleum shipped about 712,000 barrels of condensate from Ras Laffan to be received at the ENOC condensate refinery in Dubai on March 5.

March 8, 2021

Crude price surges after Saudi energy facilities attacked

A drone attack on the Ras Tanura port in Saudi Arabia helped launch a rapid rise in prices for crude. An analyst noted that the surge in value could be exaggerated by tight production quotas and an inability on the part of US shale producers to rapidly increase production.

March 7, 2021

Oil Prices Retreat from Earlier Gains after Missile Attacks target Aramco

According to the Brent Crude Oil charts, oil prices have retreated from earlier gains, closing the session in the red. The drop in oil prices comes after the missile attacks that targeted Saudi Aramco facilities. While the attack caused no damage, such acts destabilize the global economy through affecting energy supplies.

March 7, 2021

Saudi Arabia says no damage sustained at Ras Tanura by Houthi attack

Ras Tanura’s three terminals emerged unscathed from the Houthi drone attack, according to the Saudi energy ministry. This includes no injuries, deaths, or property damage.

March 4, 2021

OPEC+ keeps steep oil cuts in place for April

Going into April, OPEC+ is set to maintain current supply levels, with most members and allies agreeing to extend their production cuts into the next month, including Saudi Arabia’s voluntary additional cuts. Russia and Kazakhstan have been allowed to increase their production by  130,000 b/d and 20,000 b/d respectively. With uneven vaccine rollouts and strict lockdown measures, oil demand continues to be precarious, prompting the produced group to maintain its production cuts.

March 4, 2021

Production Levels to Remain Unchanged through April as Saudi Extends Voluntary Additional Cuts

In a showcase of the country’s commitment to the full market recovery of the oil sector, Saudi Arabia extends its one million barrels per day voluntary production cut into April. Current production levels are expected to remain unchanged for most oil producers, except for Russia and Kazakhstan who will be allowed to expand production by 130,000 (Russia) and 20,000 (Kazakhstan) barrels per day. 

March 4, 2021

Houthis take credit for missiles fired at Aramco facilities in Jeddah

The Royal Saudi Air Force intercepted and destroyed ballistic missiles launched by the Houthi militia toward Saudi Aramco facilities in Jeddah, the southern city of Jazan, and the town of Khamis Mushait. 

March 3, 2021

Bullish OPEC+ expectations lead to 2% rise in Crude prices

After a key advisory committee for OPEC+ issued no recommendation on April output levels, oil futures soared at the expected quota increase. Saudi Arabia has continued to urge a conservative approach, while Russia leads several other OPEC+ members in their desire to loosen quotas.

March 2, 2021

Saudi Arabia and Russia yet to Reach a Compromise regarding April Supply Levels

An upcoming OPEC+ meeting will determine oil supply levels for April. Saudi Arabia has been cautioning oil producers against increasing output in an attempt to preserve the market’s fragile recovery. Russia on the other hand has indicated a desire to expand oil production going into April in light of the market’s recent recovery.

February 23, 2021

Oil prices rise after U.S. output shrinks due to Texas winter storm

With the rare winter storm in Texas causing a drop in U.S. crude oil production by more than 10%, oil prices have reached 13-month highs, settling at $67.30 a barrel.

February 22, 2021

Saudi Aramco predicts hydrogen market growth after 2030

Looking to diversify their portfolio to include zero-carbon products, Saudi Aramco said that it expects the hydrogen market to grow once infrastructure and policies are in place in 2030. Their vice president of marketing, sales, and supply planning also asserted their intention to be the “last man standing” among hydrocarbon producers, due to their cost-efficiency and minimally energy-intensive operations.

February 22, 2021

Iraq’s SOMO won’t cut oil exports to India unless forced

Providing 70% of Asia’s crude export market, Iraq will not cut its oil supply to India in order to maintain said control. The deputy director general of Iraq’s SOMO said it would not cut supply unless forced to.

February 16, 2021

Saudi Aramco will sell shares for a second time

Saudi Arabia is expected to sell more shares of Saudi Aramco in order to finance projects aimed at diversifying its portfolio. No timeline or details have yet to be provided, but proceeds would be directed to Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.

February 10, 2021

Saudi Aramco intends to loan $10 billion to pipeline business buyers

Following the lead of ADNOC’s infrastructure leasing deals, Aramco is also seeking to generate value from its assets. The Saudi oil giant is preparing a $10 billion financing package, potentially to offer to pipeline buyers like BlackRock, KKR and Brookfield Asset Management.

February 9, 2021

Neom forecasts hydrogen-based ecosystem

Neon’s head of energy, Peter Terium, stated that the city will be powered predominantly by hydrogen, providing the basis for clean production of fertilizers, chemicals and oil derivatives. 1.2 million mt of ammonia is expected to be produced from hydrogen, slating high export potential in Asia, the U.S. and parts of Europe, according to Terium.

February 8, 2021

OPEC+ lifts output by 440,000 barrels per day in January

For the seventh straight month, OPEC boosted its crude oil production, rising over 270,000 barrels per day from December to 25.70 million b/d in January. The nine additional members from OPEC+ rose 170,000 b/d to 12.91 million b/d.

February 8, 2021

Qatar awards Japanese company with North Field LNG expansion contract

Qatar announced that the phase 1 contract of its North Field LNG expansion was won by Japan’s Chiyoda Corp. and Technip. The expansion will cost $28.75 billion, boosting production from 77 to 110 mt/year by Q4 2025.

February 7, 2021

Iran’s natural gas output reaches record high despite US sanctions

Iran’s natural gas production reached a record high of 1.04 Bcm/d according to Iran’s oil minister, Bijan Zanganeh, in spite of U.S. sanctions. 

February 5, 2021

Saudi Aramco makes no changes to Asia-bound crude OSPs

Saudi Aramco made no changes to its March prices for Asia-bound crude oil grades from February for its Arab Light, Arab Medium, Arab Heavy, Super Light, and Extra Light crude from February, staying steady against Platts Dubai and DME Oman.

February 3, 2021

Oil Prices Climb with Output Cuts and Falling Inventories

Oil prices are rising as a result of ongoing OPEC+ output cuts, falling inventories, and a drop in the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits. However, the strengthening of the U.S. dollar is likely to stall the momentum of oil prices and drive a decline in prices. 

February 1, 2021

Iraq’s total oil exports rise to 2.868 million barrels per day

The Iraqi oil ministry reported the rise in total oil exports from 2.846 million barrels per day in December to 2.868 million barrels per day in January.

February 1, 2021

BP sells 20% stake of Oman gas development to Thailand state-owned energy firm

Multinational oil and gas company BP plc agreed to sell a 20% stake in Oman’s Block 61 to Thailand’s national petroleum exploration and production company (PTTEP) for $2.6 billion. The purchase aligns with BP’s goal to reduce debt and shift towards renewables through large asset sales, and agrees with PTTEP’s strategy to increase their gas portfolio.

February 1, 2021

Goldman Sachs predicts tight oil market could push crude to $65

According to Goldman Sachs, with OPEC+ production cuts tightening the oil market and a slow rebound in demand, oil prices could rise to $65 a barrel by July. 

January 29, 2021

OPEC’s Oil Production Rises In January As Cartel Eases Output Cuts

As the OPEC+alliance eases its output cuts in Q1, crude oil production by OPEC has risen by 160k barrels per day in January. Of the 500,000 agreed to be added in January by the collective, OPEC’s share comes out approximately to 300,000 bpd. The three biggest increases, in order, came from Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Iran.

January 28, 2021

Russian Oil Company Litasco will Finance Iray’s Nassirya oilfield, doubling output

In a 28-month project, Litasco, an oil trading arm of the Russian oil company Lukoil, will finance the doubling of Iraq’s Nassiriya oil production capacity to 200,000 barrels per day. The Iraqi cabinet announced that part of the deal includes building a 100,000 bpd oil production facility and a 42 km oil pipeline by a joint venture between Iraq’s State Company for Oil Projects (SCOP) and Italy’s Progetti Europa & Global.

January 28, 2021

MBS announces Aramco selling more shares

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said that Saudi Aramco will sell more shares as part of plans to bolster the country’s main sovereign wealth fund. The company is the world’s biggest oil company and completed its first public offering in 2019. Valued at $25.6 billion, it was the world’s largest initial public offering.

January 27, 2021

Iraq and French oil company Total sign memorandum of understanding for large projects

Iraq signed a memorandum of understanding with Total, a French oil and gas company, for collaborations on natural gas and clean energy projects. The Iraqi oil ministry calls the plans “large and promising.”

January 27, 2021

Russian SWF credits Saudi output cut for oil market stabilization

The head of Russian sovereign wealth fund RDIF said that Saudi Arabia’s output cut significantly stabilized the market. President Putin’s speech at the Davos forum also commended the productivity of energy cooperation among Saudi Arabia and the U.S. despite “different and sometimes even opposite views on other global issues.”

January 26, 2021

Oil prices rise alongside European shares amid reports of Riyadh blast

Oil prices creeped up alongside rising European shares, trading near 11-month high, amid reports of a blast in Riyadh. Oil prices are also being supported by geopolitical tensions after two supertankers, including Iranian crew members, were seized on Indonesian waters for suspected illegal oil transfers.

January 26, 2021

Iranian oil exports rise despite sanctions

In a signal that the international market anticipates a more conciliatory Biden administration regarding JCPOA resumption and easing of sanctions, Iran’s oil exports have risen in Q4 and January, according to three firms that derive their estimate from tracking tankers. SVB International estimated that Iranian crude exports increased from 490,000 barrels per day in October to 710,000 in December. Shipments and productions are moving up in January. 

January 26, 2021

Iran asks Indonesia for explanation regarding seizure of tanker accused of illegal oil transfer

Iran has asked Indonesia for details regarding the seizure of an Iranian-flagged vessel off the waters of the West Kalimantan province. Indonesia said its coast guard suspected illegal oil transfers, and that they will be escorted to Riau Island Province for further investigation. 

January 26, 2021

IMF projects stronger-than-expected global recovery, 21% rebound in crude oil prices to ~ $50/b

The International Monetary Fund expects the global economy to post a stronger-than-expected recovery from the pandemic, with oil prices averaging just above $50 per barrel in 2021. Still, it says that “Oil exporters and tourism-based economies face particularly difficult prospects given the subdued outlook for oil prices and expected slow normalization of cross-border travel.”

 

January 24, 2021

Dubai oil crude futures trading on TOCOM more than doubled in 2020

Dubai crude oil futures traded on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange rose 124% in 2020, a record high. Volume rose to 6.01 million, a significant increase from 2.68 million in 2019. Each futures contract is 50,000 liters, equivalent to approximately 314.5 barrels.

January 22, 2021

Iran confident in return to pre-sanction oil market share once US sanctions lifted

So long as US sanctions are lifted, Iranian oil minister Zanganeh is confident that a “more powerful and capable” Iranian oil sector in terms of “marketing, transfer of money,” and market access will help the country regain its pre-sanctions share of the oil market. He asserted that the market itself will approach Iran in pursuit of diversifying its suppliers, and that Asian and European companies have already begun reaching out should sanctions be lifted.

January 21, 2021

Iraq’s dominance over Indian crude market will be tested by Iranian resurgence

The resurgence of Iranian crude, propelled by President Biden potentially lifting sanctions, may challenge Iraq’s double-digit growth of crude exports to India. Its market share rose as high as 25% as Iranian crude inflows zeroed out. A refiner said that, since Indian refiners are used to Iranian crude, they will likely be happy to get back to business if the opportunity presents itself.

January 20, 2021

Emirates Nuclear Energy Corp. anticipates all four nuclear reactors operational in four years

The UAE’s Emirates Nuclear Energy Corp., which in 2020 started one of the four nuclear units, expects all reactors to be operational in four years as OPEC’s third largest producer seeks to diversify its energy mix. The CEO of Emirates Nuclear Energy Corp. expects all four of its nuclear reactors to be operational by 2024, asserting that 25% of UAE’s electricity will be generated by nuclear and clean energy. Its first 1.4 GW nuclear power reactor reached 100% capacity in December. The CEO said that green hydrogen may also be a product of the nuclear reactors one day.

January 20, 2021

Rising Saudi Crude Exports lead to 17-year low domestic stockpile

Saudi Arabia’s crude exports rose to a seven-month high in November, leaving its domestic stockpile at a 17-year low. Exports have increased every month since June when it reached a historic low of 4.98 million barrels per day.

January 20, 2021

OPEC chief pledges deepened ties, productive relationship with Biden administration

OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo pledged to nurture the relationship between the oil group and the U.S. energy industry under President Biden. Despite not yet being in touch with the President, and some of OPEC’s member countries’ tenuous relationship with the incoming administration, Barkindo expressed his desire to maintain and improve the mutually beneficial productivity of the partnership.

January 20, 2021

Saudi Arabia to generate 50% of power needs from clean energy by 2030

Dr. Khalid Bin Saleh Al-Sultan, the Chairman of King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy, says that 50% of Saudi Arabia’s electric energy needs will be met by sustainable clean energy sources by 2030. The Saudi Ministry of Energy approved policies encouraging private sector participation. 

January 20, 2021

OPEC Secretary General Affirms the Coalition’s Intention to Deepen Ties with Biden’s Administration

OPEC’s secretary general Mohammed Barkindo affirmed the coalition’s intention to continue to deepen the relationship with the U.S. energy industry under the administration of president Joe Biden. The election of Biden has triggered some anxiety within OPEC, particularly when it comes to his position on climate change and push for a clean energy transition, as well as his potential return to the Iran nuclear deal.

January 19, 2021

UAE energy minister sees diminished threat from US shale oil rivals

UAE energy minister Suhail al-Mazrouei predicted that US crude production is unlikely to pose a threat to OPEC’s market share in the near-term. The International Energy Agency agreed, saying in its monthly oil market report that many US shale officials could focus on paying down debt and boosting investor returns rather than ramping up production.

January 19, 2021

UAE plans hydrogen capacity building and CCUS projects to fight climate change

At the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week summit, the CEO of Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. discussed its aim to be one of the “lowest cost and highest producers” of blue hydrogen in the world, with CCUS (carbon, capture, utilization, and storage) projects in the works. 

January 14, 2021

Oman plans to raise oil output post-OPEC+, but still in search of investment

At the expiration of the OPEC+ supply accord, Oman plans to raise its crude production up to 1.1 million barrels per day. The level of investment needed to meet this capacity is unidentified thus far.

January 14, 2021

Saudi Foreign Minister: Saudi-Russian cooperation in OPEC+ helped stabilize oil markets

The Saudi Foreign Minister stated that cooperation with Russia stabilized oil markets and even “protected the global economic system that the dangerous effects that could have happened from instability in these markets.” Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister said that Saudi Arabia’s surprise cuts were a “New Year’s gift” to the oil market

January 14, 2021

The COVID-19 Pandemic Continues to Color Prospects for Oil Recovery

While earlier on, OPEC 2021 forecasts foresaw a healthy recovery in economic activities and a growth in oil demand by 5.9 million barrels per day year on year, OPEC has steadily lowered its demand growth forecasts since. The fluctuation in the forecasts for 2021 is driven by the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, with the virus spread rate continuing to grow despite the vaccine rollout, and the implementation of new lockdown measures across the world.

January 13, 2021

UAE Warns US Shale Companies Against Pumping More Oil

Any attempt by U.S. shale and other oil producers to boost output this year will probably backfire and lead to lower prices, according to the energy minister of the United Arab Emirates. With demand still fragile, they “are wise not to jump the gun and overproduce during the recovery year” Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei said speaking exclusively to Bloomberg’s Manus Cranny at the forum for Gulf Intelligence.

January 13, 2021

UAE cautions U.S. shale oil companies against output increase

UAE’s energy minister warned U.S. shale producers not to upset the oil market’s rebalancing by rushing to increase production in the wake of rising oil prices. “If every country is looking at market share, we will not balance the market.”

January 11, 2021

Iran signs 8 more oil projects, plans to boost output by 355,000 b/d

The National Iranian Oil Co. signed eight additional oil projects as an extension of a $6.2 billion national program started in January 2019 to increase oil production by 355,000 barrels per day. The eight projects are worth $1.2 billion and could boost production by 95,000 bpd.

January 11, 2021

Kuwait Petroleum Corp. raises Feb crude OSPs to Asia, lowers U.S. and Europe prices

Kuwait Petroleum Corp. raised its February official selling prices for crude bound for Asia, and lowered prices of crude headed to the U.S. and Europe. It also increased its differential for the Asia-bound Super Light and Khafji oilfield crude.

January 11, 2021

Qatar raises February crude OSP differentials

Qatar Petroleum raised the February OSP differentials for its Land and Marine crude by 40 cents per barrel and 50 cents/b. It has used a prospective, rather than retrospective, basis for OSPS since March 2020.

January 10, 2021

Saudi cut to preserve oil market deficit as demand falters

Saudi Arabia’s voluntary oil production cut will bring the oil market into deficit for most of 2021 despite demand being battered by the spread of COVID-19. The announcement boosted oil prices to an 11-month high.

January 7, 2021

Iraq December oil production up 4.7%, breaching OPEC+ quota

Iraq’s December oil production, including from the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, rose 4.7% month on month to 3.857 million b/d, to be above the country’s OPEC+ quota, data from the State Oil Marketing Organization showed Jan. 7.

January 6, 2021

Iraq still waiting for Iranian gas supply to resume after 90-day US waiver granted

Though the US granted Baghdad a 90-day waiver permitting Iranian gas supply for power generation, Iraq is still waiting for Iran to resume supplying. Iraq owes Iran billions of dollars in unpaid gas imports, which has led to Iran lowering its supply from 50 million cu m/day to 5 million. 

January 6, 2021

Saudis raise Asia, U.S. oil prices after shock output cut

After Saudi Arabia’s shock announcement at an OPEC+ meeting that it would unilaterally cut its oil output, the Kingdom elected to raise oil prices for all grades shipped to Asia and the U.S. in February.

 

January 5, 2021

Saudi Arabia surprises market — 1 million b/d ‘preemptive’ output cut

Saudi energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman shocked the oil market by holding its crude output 1 million barrels below its quota of 9.119 million barrels per day in order to help bring down the bloated oil inventories due to the pandemic. 

January 5, 2021

Qatari energy trade seen little changed with easing of Gulf rift

Despite the end of the detente between Qatar and three Gulf countries, Qatari energy exports are not expected to get a boost. Qatar is seen as unlikely to rejoin OPEC, as its participation has remained relatively unchanged through OPEC+, and its plans to expand LNG capacity will likely proceed as planned.

January 5, 2021

Saudi Arabia promises extra cuts as OPEC+ agrees to slight increase in output

While most OPEC+ producers have agreed to hold outputs steady for the months of February and March, Saudi Arabia has agreed to extend its voluntary additional cuts over the next two months in support of a strong oil market recovery. The only two producers to increase production are Russia and Kazakhstan, who have been allowed to increase output by a combined 75,000 bpd in February and a further 75,000 bpd in March.

January 5, 2021

OPEC+ to Mostly Hold Output Steady for February

After raising output by 500,000 bpd for the month of January, OPEC+ is likely to hold output steady for the month of February. Having failed to reach a compromise in their most recent meeting, the coalition is likely to commit to steadying supplies in an upcoming meeting. Despite an overall optimistic market environment, Saudi Arabia had advised OPEC+ member to practice caution given the market’s vulnerability to the uncertainty of COVID. While most OPEC+ members favor steadying outputs, Russia and Kazakhstan are pushing for an increase in production.

January 4, 2021

IRGC seizes South Korean chemical tanker

Citing oil pollution, Iran seized a South-Korean-flagged chemical tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, pulling it into an Iranian port. Iran seeks to get South Korea to release almost $7 billion of oil revenues owed to OPEC. Prior to US sanctions, South Korea was one of Iran’s top five crude and condensate buyers.

January 4, 2021

Iran increases uranium enrichment to 20%, defying JCPOA

Iran has resumed 20% uranium enrichment at its underground Fordow nuclear facility, notifying the International Atomic Energy Agency. The level far exceeds the 3.67% that was allowed by the JCPOA. 

January 4, 2021

OPEC+ fails to reach deal on February oil quotas

Caught between “two proposals 180 degrees opposite each other,” OPEC+ could not come to a resolution on whether to increase oil quotas. Some members were concerned predominantly about their market share, while others were wary of ongoing weakened demand.

 

January 3, 2021

Iraq awards unnamed Chinese company with $2 billion oil deal

An unnamed Chinese company won a $2 billion dollar, five-year oil supply contract without destination restrictions from Iraq’s SOMO. The deal includes one-year prepayment, as Baghdad seeks to raise capital, and includes a supply of 4 million barrels per month of Basrah crude starting July 1, 2021.

2020
December 29, 2020

Saudi, Dubai stocks lead broader regional gains on stronger oil prospects

With prospects that the stimulus of a US relief package could increase demand and growth, UAE and Saudi Arabia both saw their stocks rise, in line with the global market, Bahrain, and Oman, and in contrast to Qatar.

December 23, 2020

Google partners with Saudi Aramco to access $10 billion cloud market

In a joint venture with the state-owned oil producer Aramco, Google will open a “cloud region,” to deliver high performance, low latency cloud services to meet rising demand in Saudi Arabia, which is forecast to reach a market opportunity up to $10 billion by 2030.  

December 22, 2020

UAE-based Fujairah to get fourth refinery in 2021

With its third refinery started in April, Fujairah, a UAE-based entity, expects a fourth to be running by 2021. Fujairah’s oil stockpile jumped 6.7% the week of December 14th, its highest since August.

December 14, 2020

Facing liquidity crunch, Kuwait names new oil and finance ministers

Mired in a dire economic crisis and following the resignation of the government, Kuwait’s emir on Monday approved a new cabinet that included new ministers of oil and finance. The supreme petroleum council sets oil policy, so it is yet to be seen how influential these new additions will be.

December 6, 2020

Aluminum Bahrain signs memo of understanding with Chinese alumina supplier

Aluminum Bahrain (Alba) signed a three-year memorandum of understanding with a Chinese company that will supply the Gulf state aluminum producer with raw material alumina. Hangzhou Jinjiang Group Co. has an annual nameplate capacity of 10 million mt., and Alba hopes to increase its 2019 total of 1.35 million mt. to 1.54 million by the end of 2020.

December 6, 2020

Oman sets up new energy company to raise capital

In an effort to offset the impact of lower oil prices, Oman sets up a new state energy company that can raise debt. Energy Development Oman will have a shareholding in Petroleum Development Oman, a state-owned oil and gas exploration and production company, and Block 6, Oman’s largest gas and oil operation.

December 1, 2020

Saudi-UAE standoff leaves OPEC deal hanging in the balance

After heated disagreements about quota management and enforcement led to a several-day delay in OPEC+ meetings, members hope that diplomacy can bring UAE and Saudi Arabia back to the negotiating table. UAE expressed frustration that other members have not been held to their obligations, while Iraq asked for unique consideration based on its economic realities rather than a “one size fits all” approach.

November 16, 2020

Saudi Aramco plans debt market comeback with multi-tranche bond deal

Seeking cash, Saudi Aramco hired banks for a multi-trance U.S. dollar-denominated bond issuance.

November 1, 2020

Head of Vitol Asia says Europe lockdowns could reduce oil demand by hundreds of thousands b/d

Resultant of new lockdowns in Western Europe, the head of Vitol Asia stated that the drop in demand may equal hundreds of thousands of barrels per day. After the first round of lockdowns in April, OPEC+ reigned in oil output by almost 10%.

November 1, 2020

Sudan and UAE sign memo of understanding on construction of solar energy plants

Sudan and UAE sign a memorandum of understanding regarding the construction of solar energy plants with a capacity of 500 megawatts (MW). UAE, represented by one of its private companies, will supply, build, install and operate an undisclosed number of plants for 20 years, while training and employing Sudanese workers.

October 29, 2020

OPEC+ 2021 supply decision garners varying reactions from Gulf states

With Russia and Saudi Arabia in favor of maintaining output cuts and other members of OPEC+ against them, the Kuwaiti Oil Minister expressed his support of whatever was best for the OPEC+ framework.

October 27, 2020

Oil prices drop by more than 5% to three-week low as COVID-19 cases surge

Renewed lockdowns in the U.S. and Europe are sparking concern that the economic recovery will deteriorate, leading oil prices to fall 5% in a three-week low. The drop was compounded by an increase in U.S. and Libyan oil output, and the dwindling hopes of a timely U.S. stimulus package.

October 20, 2020

Qatari stocks rise as most major Gulf markets fall

In a contrast to UAE and Saudi markets and indexes taking a hit, Qatari stocks rose on Tuesday, including the index .QSI, its largest lender Qatar National Bank, and Qatar Gas Transport Company.

October 20, 2020

Israeli pipeline company EAPC to transport UAE oil

Israel’s Europe-Asia Pipeline Co. (EAPC) signed an agreement with a UAE-based company to transport oil from the Gulf state and Eastern markets to the West and back. According to EAPC, the agreement “offers oil producers and refiners the shortest most efficient and cost-effective route to transport oil and oil products from the Arabian Gulf to the consumption centers in the West, and provides access for consumers in the Far East to oil produced in the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions.”

October 19, 2020

IMF lowers 2021 outlook for Middle East economic recovery

In its latest regional outlook report (Oct. 2020) the International Monetary Fund (IMF) lowered its outlook for the region’s economic recovery, predicting a 4.1% contraction. The (IMF) also expects oil prices to remain under pressure, predicting prices in the $40 to $50 range in 2021.

October 19, 2020

Oil exporters to hurt most due to COVID-19

Lower oil prices and decreased demand have set up oil exporters to be among the hardest hit Middle Eastern states economically, according to the International Monetary Fund.

October 19, 2020

Saudi Arabia expects $20 billion investment in renewable energy through 2030

The CEO of the Saudi National Grid expects investments of $20 billion and more over the next decade. The company also anticipates record low prices for its renewable projects.

October 8, 2020

OPEC cuts long-term forecast for oil demand growth

In its annual World Oil Outlook, OPEC extended its forecast period from 2040 through 2045, projecting worldwide oil demand to increase by nearly 10 million barrels per day (b/d) over the long term, rising to 109.3 million b/d in 2040, and to 109.1 million b/d in 2045.  

October 6, 2020

Saudi Aramco doubles down on oil production to outlast rivals

Mindful that a shift to clean energy will make crude much less valuable, Saudi Aramco plans to increase its oil production capacity so that it can capitalize on demand picking up.

 

October 5, 2020

Boosted by Kurdish output, Total oil exports in Iraq edge 1.3% higher in Sept

After August saw the lowest Iraqi exports of oil since 2015, Iraq’s output went up 1.3% to 3.063 million barrels per day, boosted by semi-autonomous Kurdish output.

October 2, 2020

US, Israel and UAE to cooperate in several sectors of energy

In the wake of the Abraham Accords, the US, Israel, and UAE agree to cooperate in several sectors of energy, including oil, gas, and renewable energy. UAE and Israel may also work together on water desalination and solar power.

September 30, 2020

Saudi Economy experiences 7% contraction in Q2 caused by COVID-19 demand destruction

Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Statistics reported a 7% contraction YoY in the second quarter. The drop is a consequence of the pandemic’s oil demand destruction and reflects the Kingdom’s challenges in diversifying its economy beyond the oil industry. 

September 29, 2020

Saudi Aramco and Russian Oil Company unlikely to bid for stake in Indian Oil Refining Corporation

With low oil prices and weak demand curbing investment plans, sources from Russian oil company and Saudi Aramco report that the two heavyweights are unlikely to bid for a stake in Indian refiner Bharat Petroleum Corporation. After initially showing interest, Aramco has not submitted a formal expression of interest, though the deadline was extended by two months to September 30th.

September 27, 2020

Singapore receives the first oil shipment from Aramco’s Jizan refinery

According to data analytics firm Kepler, Aramco’s Jizan refinery has sent 475,000 barrels of gas oil to Singapore. In a statement made in August, Aramco CEO Amin Nasser had indicated that processing at the Jizan refinery, which has been the target of several Houthi missile attacks intercepted by Saudi, will begin by the first quarter of 2021.

 

September 25, 2020

Oil Tracking Company Projects September Iranian exports at “levels we haven’t seen” in 18 months

Defying U.S. sanctions, TankerTrackers projected Iranian oil exports in September have jumped to twice that of August, and “levels we haven’t seen in a year and a half.” 

 

September 24, 2020

U.S. grants 60-day waiver for Iraq to import Iranian Energy

The U.S. gave Baghdad 60 days to take “meaningful action” to reduce energy reliance on Iran, notably shorter than the usual 90 or 120 day waiver. Analysts believe that the shortened timespan reflects evolving relations between the U.S. and Iran, as American troops stationed in Iraq have come under Iranian-backed militia fire multiple times this year.

 

September 23, 2020

UAE’s Barakah nuclear power plant boosts electricity production to half of capacity

The UAE’s  first nuclear power plant, Barakah, started one of its four units back in August, and has recently boosted its electricity production to half of its capacity. The boost comes after the UAE has linked the plant to its electricity grid as part of its plan to meet up to 25% of the country’s power needs from nuclear energy.

September 22, 2020

Iraq’s Kurdish Region responsible for OPEC quota breach and possible smuggling, claims deputy PM Allawi

In a recent statement, Iraq’s deputy prime minister Ali Allawi attributed the country’s OPEC quota breach to the semi-autonomous Kurdish region, which produces between 450,000 and 470,000 b/d of crude. Moreover, the deputy minister indicated that the region might be a possible source of smuggling.  

September 18, 2020

Saudi Defense Ministry Places blame on Iran for Drone and Missile Strike

After a drone and missile attack forced Saudi Arabia to shut down half of the country’s oil production, the Saudi defense ministry asserted that debris found at the Aramco attack site proved Iranian culpability. “The attack could not have originated from Yemen,” Col. Turki al-Maliki said, because the Houthi rebel fighters did not have the needed range of capability.

 

September 17, 2020

Oil jumps more than 10% following OPEC meeting and decline in US inventory

After Saudi Arabia pressed OPEC members to hold firm on production quotas, Hurricane Sally cut U.S. production, and a Libyan commander announced the removal of a blockade on oil exports, oil prices were mixed. However, a decline in U.S. inventory and the resultant supply deficit contributed to a 10% rise in oil prices.

September 17, 2020

Iraq to raise its refining capacity to 850,000 b/d by the first quarter of 2022

According to Iraqi deputy oil minister Hamed al-Zobai, the country plans to raise its refining capacity from 640,000 b/d to 850,000 b/d by the first quarter of 2022. The main purpose behind Iraq’s push for an increased refining capacity is to reduce dependence on imports of gasoline and gas oil. Iraq’s reliance on imports of gasoline and gas oil is a consequence of the 2013-2017 war with the Islamic State, which caused damage to many of Iraq’s refineries. In order to boost refining capacity, Iraq plans to rehabilitate and develop the Baiji complex north of Baghdad, finance new refining projects in Karbala and Qayara, and introduce

September 17, 2020

Oil jumps 10+% after OPEC meeting and decline in U.S. inventory

Resultant of an OPEC meeting where Saudi Arabia pressed allies for better compliance with output cuts, Hurricane Sandy cut U.S. production, and major banks projected a supply deficit, oil futures rose by more than 10%. Eastern Libya commander Khalid Haftar also announced he would lift his oil output blockade for one month, though it is yet to be seen how quickly Libya can ramp up production.

September 17, 2020

OPEC+ Meeting Addresses Need for ‘full conformity’ to production cuts

Though OPEC+ did not commit to any changes in oil output, the international group urged flexibility in the face of uncertain Covid futures around the world. Members have thus far adapted to output constraints to varying degrees of compliance, with Iraq compensating for overproduction earlier in the year and Saudi Arabia and Russia urging stricter adherence.

September 15, 2020

SABIC issues two $500 million dollar bonds to purchase long-term debt

In a hotter debt market post-summer, Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) sold $500 million dollars worth of 10-year bonds and $500 million worth of 30-year Formosa bonds. This June, Aramco completed its $69.1 million dollar purchase of a 70% stake in SABIC. As long-term investments are more insulated to oil volatility, fund managers and bankers expect the regional debt supply to continue over the coming months.

September 15, 2020

The International Energy Agency cuts oil demand outlook in light of Coronavirus

In light of concerns around COVID-19, the International Energy Agency decreased its oil demand outlook by 300,000 b/d for 2020. While oil production for OPEC+ members has seen a recovery since production cuts have eased in August, the Paris-based agency expects non-OPEC supply to drop by 2.6 million b/d in 2020. Overall, the IEA foresees stock draws in the second half of the year at about 3.4 mb/d. 

September 14, 2020

International Atomic Energy Agency discusses tougher nuclear checks with Saudi Arabia

Though Saudi Arabia has stated it will only pursue nuclear weapons if Iran acquires them, the International Atomic Energy Agency has discussed revising its arrangements with Saudi Arabia as it expands its nuclear program. An extra agreement, known as the Additional Protocol, would provide tougher checks such as snap inspections at undisclosed locations

September 14, 2020

As supply recovers, OPEC revises down projections of global oil demand

In its latest oil market forecast, issued on September 14, OPEC slashed its projection of global demand by 400,000 b/d for 2020 and by 770,000 b/d for 2021. The supply side continues to increase above OPEC’s previous forecasts, since coordinated production cuts of OPEC+ members have relaxed in August.

September 13, 2020

Abu Dhabi plans to generate a 1/3 of its power from clean energy by 2024

In a statement made by a government official to S&P Global Platts, Abu Dhabi is looking to produce a third of its power from clean energy in four years. The UAE has been undertaking various projects targeting clean and renewable energy, including nuclear power, in an attempt to generate 50% of its power from clean energy by 2050.

September 9, 2020

With production cuts relaxing, OPEC+ oil outputs increase in August

According to a recent S&P survey, OPEC+ oil outputs have increased in August, as production cuts ease to 7.7 million b/d for the rest of the year from August on. The rise in oil output has been led by an increase in production by Saudi Arabia, Russia and the UAE. While Saudi Arabia remained under its quota, Russia and the UAE went over their cap. To make up the difference, UAE’s ADNOC said it will lower its October term allocations by 30% to make up for the excess output. 

September 8, 2020

Saudi Arabia cuts October Official Selling Prices as refinery margins weaken

In response to weakening refining margins, Saudi Arabia cut its October Official Selling Price to Asia in order to incentivize more crude buying from refiners, where Russia remains a primary competitor. Saudi Arabia also cut its Official Selling Price to U.S.  (60 cents/b less) and European (20 cents/b less) buyers, however price cuts to European buyers were by far the smallest.

September 2, 2020

UAE’s ADNOC signs $5.5 billion dollar real estate investment partnership

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company announced a $5.5 billion dollar real estate investment partnership with a consortium led by Apollo Global Management Inc. ADNOC will retain a 51% stake, maintaining full ownership and control over the select real estate and social infrastructure assets.

September 1, 2020

Iraq’s August oil export down by 6%

According to a statement made on Sept. 1st by the Iraqi oil ministry, oil exports have fallen to 2.597 million b/d in August from 2.763 million b/d in July, a 6% decrease. The drop in exports comes after Iraq has pledged to cut an extra 400,000 b/d in the month of August and in September to make up for overproduction in May through July.

August 31, 2020

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company slashes oil exports by 30% for all crude grades

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company informed its term customer that it would slash the quantity of volumes available for export over October by 30% for its Murban, Um lulu, Upper Zakum and Das Blend grades. This comes after the UAE joined other OPEC+ members in enacting voluntary additional cuts to their output quotas.

August 30, 2020

Saudi Energy Minister announces discovery of two new oil and gas fields

Saudi Arabia’s energy minister announced that the state oil company Saudi Aramco discovered two new oil and gas fields in the northern region. The Abraq al-Toloul field flows with a daily rate of 3,189 barrels per day of Arab light crude oil, in addition to 3.5 million cubic feet of natural gas; the Hadabat al Hajara gas field yields 1944 bpd of oil condensate, and produces 16 million cubic feet of natural gas daily.

August 22, 2020

Iraqi deputy PM alludes to lower reliance on Iranian power next year

Iraq’s dependence on Iranian gas and electricity  import may significantly subside if the country successfully implements its $8 billion deals with US companies and attracts Saudi investment. Iraq hopes to advance the Ar Ratawi gas project to meet the domestic energy demand as well as link its power grid to the Gulf’s grid through Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

August 20, 2020

Saudi June crude output hits 17-year low

According to data released in August 2020 by the Joint Organisations Data Initiative (JODI), Saudi Arabia’s June crude oil export dropped to the lowest on record since data collection started in January 2020, coming to a total of 4.98 million b/d. The drop in exports reflects the country’s leading role in the production cuts enacted by the OPEC+ coalition to prevent an oil price collapse.

August 20, 2020

General Electric signs $1.2 billion power agreement with Iraq

General Electric Company has signed two new agreements with the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity to bolster transmission networks and conduct maintenance programs across key Iraqi power plants, valued at $1.2 billion USD. GE is also working with multiple export credit agencies to facilitate $1 billion USD of financing for the projects.

 

August 20, 2020

OPEC+ to Offset Oversupply in May and June

On August 20, an internal OPEC+ report showed that countries that overproduced oil in May and June will have to slash output by over a million barrels per day for two months to compensate for the oversupply.

August 19, 2020

UAE nuclear power plants connects to national grid, a regional milestone

The culmination of a 12-year plan by Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) has given UAE’s Barakah plant, the Arab world’s first nuclear energy plant, its first unit connected to the national power grid. The milestone enables ENEC to provide cleaner electricity to millions of residents and will reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

August 18, 2020

Saudi Cabinet Approved Neutral Zone Agreement with Chevron

On August 18, Saudi Arabia approved amending and extending an agreement with Saudi Arabia Chevron on the Neutral Zone, a previously disputed border area between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, where an agreement last year restarted production in the area’s jointly-run Wafra and Khafagi oil fields. The Neutral Zone produces up to 0.5% of the world’s oil supply.

August 17, 2020

Iran Signs Deals to Boost Oil Production Capacity

On August 17, Iran signed 13 oil contracts with 14 domestic firms which will raise Iran’s oil production capacity to 185,000 barrels per day. The contracts are worth a total of $1.78 billion USD.

August 17, 2020

Chevron and Iraqi Government Pursue Exploration Deal

On August 17, reports surfaced that Chevron and the Iraqi government are discussing an exploration deal for Iraq’s southern Nassiriya oilfield which is one of Iraq’s largest oil fields and holds an estimated 4.4 billion barrels of crude. 

August 14, 2020

US seizes multimillion-dollar Iranian fuel shipment bound for Venezuela — DOJ says largest ever

With the assistance of foreign partners, the U.S. Justice Department announced it had seized 1.1 million barrels of Iranian petroleum from four foreign-flagged oil tankers bound for Venezuela. The two states have helped each other circumnavigate U.S. sanctions in the past, and in June, five Iranian oil tankers brought almost 1.5 million barrels per day to Venezuela, whose 1.3 million bpd refining network has almost completely broken down.

August 13, 2020

International Energy Agency forecasts lower oil demand due to surging COVID-19 cases and stalling mobility

After the world’s largest oil and gas firms reported historic Q2 losses, the International Energy Agency lowered its global oil demand forecasts to 91.1 million barrels per day, an 8.1 million bpd year-on-year decrease. The revision is 140,000 bpd lower than its most recent projection, and 2021 global estimates were revised down by 240,000 bpd to 97.1 million bpd.

August 13, 2020

Japan offers $330 million for a mega solar power plant in Qatar

On August 13, Japan confirmed that the state-backed Japan Bank for International Cooperation and Mizuho Bank will offer $330 million USD for a mega solar power plant in western Qatar. The solar power plant is expected to be operational in April, 2022.

August 12, 2020

Qatar Petroleum acquires stake in Angola drilling operation

Qatar Petroleum acquired a 30% stake in Angola’s Block 48, with drilling scheduled for 2020-2021. This marks Qatar’s first oil venture in Angola, aided by Angola’s oil ministry’s revision of the fiscal terms of its contracts to incentivize international oil companies to revive the country’s oil industry.

August 10, 2020

OPEC+ compliance with oil cuts dips in July

OPEC+ members’ production cuts compliance dropped by 10% in July, as the coalition gears up to hike up quotas this month in anticipation of higher global oil demand. However, some countries that overproduced their quotas such as Iraq, have pledged to compensation cuts to offset the imbalance.

August 9, 2020

Saudi Aramco reduces capital expenditure in response to plummeting profits

Due to the challenging conditions of the global market, Saudi Aramco has reduced its capital expenditure to $6.2 billion in its second quarter- less than half of its first quarter capex ($13.6 billion). This course of action comes at the heel of a slump in demand caused by the pandemic, which plummeted profits by 73% in the second quarter.

August 9, 2020

Saudi Aramco profits drop 50% for first half of year

Saudi Aramco reported a 50% decrease in net income for the first half of its financial year, dropping from $46.9 billion in the first half of 2019 to $23.2 billion through June 2020. CEO Amin Nasser reported on an earnings call — the first earning press conference held by the oil company since going public in December — that “The worst is likely behind us. We remain fairly positive about the long term demand for oil.”

August 9, 2020

Iraq Oil Output Cut Further

On August 9, oil prices rose in response to Iraq announcing it would cut its oil output by 400,000 more barrels per day in August and September, coming into compliance with cuts agreed upon by OPEC+. The U.S. Congress also sent signals a stimulus deal is on the horizon, raising hopes further of economic recovery.

 

August 7, 2020

Saudi and Iraqi ministers discuss OPEC+ compliance

In a joint statement, Saudi Energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman and Iraqi oil minister Ihsan Ismaael reaffirmed their commitment towards meeting production cuts and the extra cuts under the compensation regime. Iraq has pledged to make additional cuts of 400,000 b/d of its August and September quotas to compensate for its overproduction in May, June and July, bringing its effective quota to  3.404 million b/d.

August 6, 2020

CEO of Saudi Aramco offshoot warns about oil demand after weak Q2

Saudi Petrochemical giant SABIC, partly owned by Aramco, posted its third quarterly loss as prices dropped by 27% YoY in the second quarter. CEO Yousef al-Benyan said improvement will depend on how the uncertainty of a second or third wave of COVID-19 will drive demand.

August 6, 2020

Iraq Will Further Cut Oil Output To Compensate For Overproduction

On August 6, Iraq announced it will cut its oil output by an extra 400,000 barrels per day to compensate for its overproduction over the past three months. The decision will bring Iraq closer to compliance with collective production cuts agreed upon by OPEC+.

August 6, 2020

U.S. Exports Crude Oil To Saudi Arabia For First Time In Over A Decade

In June, U.S. Census Bureau data showed the U.S. shipped an unusually small amount of crude oil, about 550,000 barrels, to Saudi Arabia for the first time since a 1,000-barrel shipment in 2002. The U.S. Energy Information Administration has no record of any U.S. crude oil exports to Saudi Arabia.

August 3, 2020

Russia Raising Oil Output As OPEC+ Agreement Loosens

On August 1 and 2, Russia raised oil and gas condensate output to 9.8 million barrels per day, up from 9.37 million bpd in July, as production cuts under the OPEC+ deal eased. From August 1, OPEC+ agreed to lower output cuts from 9.7 million barrels per day (bpd) from 7.7 million bpd thus allowing for more production.

August 1, 2020

UAE announces success of first nuclear reactor

UAE announced the successful start of its first nuclear reactor at the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, the region’s first such plant. Though the plant was due to go online in late 2017, a number of safety and regulatory requirements saw the country first start loading fuel rods into the reactor in February. Saudi Arabia says it plans to build up to 16 nuclear reactors, but the project has not yet materialized.

July 30, 2020

CNPC Possibly To Purchase $1.5 Billion Stake In Oman Gas Field

On July 30, the state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation was in advance talks to purchase a 10% stake in the giant Khazzan natural gas field in Oman from BP, which owns 60% of the field. The deal could be worth $1.5 billion USD.

July 29, 2020

UAE ADNOC Will Cut Volume For All Crude Grades

On July 29, UAE’s biggest energy producer Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. told customers it would cut all four of its crude oil grades by 5% in September, following similar 5% cuts made in July and August.

July 27, 2020

China’s Crude Imports From Saudi Arabia Reach New Heights

On July 26, customs data showed that China’s June crude oil imports from Saudi Arabia reached an all time high of 2.17 million barrels per day (bpd). Oil exports to China from Russia and Brazil also peaked in June, with China’s crude oil imports increasing by 34.4% year on year to a record high of 12.99 million bpd.

July 21, 2020

Saudi Arabia Will Burn Excess Crude Oil To Produce Electricity

On July 21, Saudi Arabia was on track to burn record amounts of crude oil to produce electricity this summer as more Saudis stay inside with air conditioning to combat the harsh summer heat.

July 21, 2020

Iraq Struggling With Kurdistan Region On Energy Policy

On July 21, S&P Global reported the Iraqi government and the semi-autonomous Kurdish region will further complicate Iraqi energy policy as Iraq already lags behind in implementing oil cuts agreed upon by OPEC+. Baghdad has blamed Kurdistan for its lack of compliance to the OPEC+ deal.

July 16, 2020

Saudi Crude Oil in May Reached 9-Year Low

On July 16, the Joint Organisations Data Initiative released data showing Saudi crude oil exports dropped to 6.02 million barrels per day (bpd) when the OPEC+ production cuts began in May, reaching a nine year low. Saudi Arabia exported a record 10.237 million bpd in April before the cuts.

July 15, 2020

Saudi Arabia Entering Next Phase In OPEC+ Agreement

On July 15, the Saudi energy minister said the OPEC+ agreement was moving into its next phase of reduced production cuts as oil demand was expected to recover. He reported Saudi oil exports will not increase in August and excess production will be consumed locally.

July 12, 2020

Iran Signs $300 Million Deal To Develop Yaran Oil Field

On July 12, the Iranian Oil Minister announced Iran signed a $300 million deal to develop the Yaran oil field, which aims to produce 39.5 million barrels of crude within 10 years. The project is expected to produce $2 billion of income for Iran and will continue despite the limitations of existing U.S. sanctions.

July 7, 2020

UAE ADNOC To Increase Oil Exports in August

On July 7, UAE’s Abu Dhabi National Oil Company announced plans to increase its crude oil exports by as much as 300,000 barrels per day in August as OPEC+ begins easing oil output cuts.

July 6, 2020

Saudi Arabia Raises Crude Prices

On July 6, Aramco increased official selling prices (OSPs) for its crude to Asia by $1 a barrel. Industry analysts say the increase in price could discourage demand for Saudi oil, but it could also encourage the use of crude from inventories, which would provide support for oil prices.

July 3, 2020

Crude Exports In June Show OPEC+ Compliance

On July 3, Iraq is making progress towards the production cuts implemented by OPEC+ by dropping crude oil exports in the month of june by 497,000 b/d with crude exports totaling 2.81 million b/d. The last time exports were this low was in October 2015, when exports totaled 2.7 million b/d.

July 1, 2020

Iraqi Oil Exports Fell 12% In June

On July 1, Iraq’s oil exports for the month of June fell 12%, improving compliance with OPEC’s output cut agreements. Exports fell to 2.8 million b/d, lower than May when Iraq exported an average 3.2 million b/d.

July 1, 2020

OPEC Production At Three Decade Low

OPEC’s oil production in June reached the lowest level since the 1991 Gulf War, with production being cut to 22.69 million bpd. Despite these drastic cuts, inventory levels are still high as demand for oil is increasing at a slower than normal rate.

June 30, 2020

Saudi Aramco, ADNOC May Raise OSP

On June 30, Saudi Aramco and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company will likely raise the official selling price (OSP) differentials of their crude oil due to an increase in the Gulf’s crude structure. Aramco is expected to raise the OSP differential from 80 cents/b to $3/b in August.

June 29, 2020

In June, OPEC Cut Oil Output By 1.45 Million Barrels Per Day

On June 29, OPEC cut oil output in June by 1.25 million barrels per day (bpd) as part of its supply restraint agreement. OPEC had agreed from May to cut oil supply by more than 6 million bpd, with their current supply remaining 1.55 million bpd away from compliance.

June 25, 2020

Iran Begins Building Pipeline To Avoid Strait of Hormuz

On June 25, Iran officially began building a 1,000km pipeline that seeks to avoid the Strait of Hormuz for exporting oil. The Goureh-Jask route will allow Iran to export 1 million barrels per day (bpd) by March 2021 as current sanctions by the United States has dramatically decreased Iran’s oil exports to 100,00-200,000 bpd.

June 23, 2020

UAE’S ADNOC Sells 49% Stake In Gas Pipelines

On June 23, Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC) secured a $10 billion deal with a consortium of investors to sell a 49% stake in its gas pipelines. The consortium group will invest in ADNOC assets valued at a total of $20.7 billion, this includes leasing rights to 28 pipelines that span an area of 982.8 km.

June 8, 2020

Saudi Arabian Oil Exports Falls To $11 Billion

On June 8, data reports show that in the first quarter of the year, the value of Saudi Arabia’s oil exports fell 21.9%, an approximate loss of $11 billion. Oil revenue fell nearly 24% to $34 billion, creating a $9 million budget deficit for Saudi Arabia. 

June 2, 2020

Iraq To Further Cut Oil Production

On June 2, the acting oil minister of Iraq, Ali Abdul Ameer Allawi, announced that Iraq will further cut its oil output, in consensus with OPEC+ provisions.

June 2, 2020

First Solar Project To Begin In Oman

Sterling and Wilson Solar (SWSL) became the first Indian company to commission a 125-MW solar energy project in the Gulf region. This will be Oman’s first renewable-based power project and will hold the biggest single-unit solar park in the world that uses bifacial modules. 

June 1, 2020

Qatar Petroleum Signs $19 Billion Agreement with South Korea

On June 1, Qatar Petroleum signed shipbuilding agreements with South Korean companies Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, Hyundai Heavy Industries, and Samsung Heavy Industries. These agreements will provide Qatar Petroleum with more than 100 ships at the cost of $19.23 billion. 

May 31, 2020

Russia Not Opposed To Earlier OPEC+ Meeting

On May 31, Algeria, which currently holds the presidency of OPEC, proposed that the meeting planned for June 9th be brought forward to June 4th. This received no opposition from member states, including Russia. The proposed meeting would reconvene member states in order to propose further policies regarding oil output.

May 27, 2020

Oil Rig Operations In Iraq Drastically Declining

On May 27, after international oil companies (IOC) were ordered to cut spending, oil rig operations in Iraq declined by nearly two-thirds. Iraq is now operating 31 rigs, down from 76 in December with IOCs operating around 32, down from 88. This drastic decline decreased Iraq’s oil revenue from $6.16 billion in January to $1.4 billion now.

May 26, 2020

Oil Prices Climb as Supply Cuts Grow and Demand Increases

On May 26, oil prices started rising as producers are following through on commitments to cut supplies and as demand increases with coronavirus restrictions easing. Brent reached $35.55 while WTI was traded at $33.77 per barrel. According to the Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, the increase in demand should help cut an oil surplus of 7 to 12 million barrels per day by June.

May 25, 2020

Russia Overthrows Saudi As China’s Top Crude Oil Supplier in April

Russia became China’s top crude oil supplier, overtopping Saudi Arabia’s spot. In April, Russia exported on average more than 1.75 million barrels per day (bpd) to China, compared to Saudi Arabia, which only exported 1.26 million bpd.

May 23, 2020

Iranian fuel starts arriving in Venezuelan waters despite U.S. warning

On May 23, one of five Iranian fuel tankers arrived in Venezuela to deliver more than 1.53 million barrels of gasoline and alkylate. The Venezuelan military escorted the tanker to the port due to threats made by the United States against the deal, given that both Iran and Venezuela are both under sanctions by the U.S.

May 22, 2020

Abu Dhabi, Qatar Offer Most Competitively Priced Crude in Middle East

On May 22, smaller crude oil producers Abu Dhabi and Qatar began to emerge as competitive suppliers to oil giant Saudi Arabia’s Aramco. The competitive pricing has attracted the attention of the Asian market, which is beginning to demand more oil imports as countries start to reopen.

May 20, 2020

Saudi Arabia Become Top Oil Supplier To India

On May 20, Saudi Arabia replaced Iraq as the top importer of oil to India. Iraq had been India’s No. 1 oil supplier since 2017. The shift from Iraq to Saudi Arabia was caused partly by the large cuts in oil prices by ARAMCO, which enticed India to purchase more from them instead of Iraq.

May 18, 2020

Oil Jumps to a Two-Month high on Easing Lockdowns, Positive Vaccine Results

On May 18, oil prices increased to the highest in over two months as a result of positive early results on a potential coronavirus vaccine. The vaccine results have increased optimism about the resumption of economic activity.

May 17, 2020

Kuwait and Saudi Arabia To Shut Down Al-Khafji Field Months After Reopening

On May 17, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait announced that they will be shutting down production at the Al-Khafji crude oil field, which they share in the Neutral Zone. The field was reopened in December 2019 after five years of being shut down, but due to a low number of buyers, sources say this led to the current shut down.

May 14, 2020

Saudi Arabia To Reduce Oil Exports Per OPEC+ Agreement

Saudi Aramco reported they will reduce oil shipments in June to at least a dozen customers in Asia and make even deeper reductions to Europe and the U.S. in order to comply with OPEC+ oil production cuts. The voluntary production reduction aims to drain a glut that has caused low oil prices this year.

May 13, 2020

OPEC Predicts Large Hit To Oil Coming

On May 13, OPEC+ predicted the current quarter would see the steepest decline for global oil demand despite some countries easing coronavirus lockdowns. The new prediction expects global oil demand to decrease by 9.07 million barrels per day, or 9.1%, in 2020.

May 12, 2020

Qatar At LNG Dilemma

On May 12, Qatar, being the world’s largest exporter of liquified natural gas, has arrived at a conjecture that will pose significant loss and challenges. Qatar has to either cut production, which would hurt the government’s main source of revenue, or slash oil prices which would push oil prices into the negatives.

May 5, 2020

Oil Climbs As Outputs Are Cut

On May 5, futures in New York rose for a fifth day as OPEC+ producers drastically decreased oil outputs per the commitment to remove 9.7 million barrels per day. The impact of production cuts is indicating that the oil surplus is beginning to ease.

April 30, 2020

OPEC April Output At 13-Month High

On April 30, oil outputs from OPEC countries in the month of April averaged 30.25 million barrels per day, making it the highest output by the 13-member organization since March 2019. Saudi Arabia had the biggest increase in supply, with 11.3 million barrels per day, along with the UAE and Kuwait who also increased outputs.

April 29, 2020

Oil Prices Rise As Production Cuts Near

On April 29, as outputs are slashed across major oil producers, oil prices are beginning to rise slowly again. In New York, crude oil futures rose to $14 a barrel and Russian oil companies will further cut production by 19%.

April 28, 2020

OPEC Oil Exports Increase

On April 28, crude oil production from OPEC members increased by more than 2 million barrels per day in the month of April. This is the highest level of production for OPEC since December 2018 and comes just a few days before the implementation of the agreement on oil production cuts set to begin in May.

April 20, 2020

U.S. Considers Blocking Saudi Shipments

On April 20, as demand for oil has severely plummeted due to coronavirus shutdowns, President Trump is seeking to add more than 75 million barrels of oil to the United States’ Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Trump further said he will look into a proposal to block oil shipments from Saudi Arabia.

April 18, 2020

Saudi Arabia Set To Export 600,000 Barrels Per Day To The U.S.

On April 18, Saudi Arabia will begin selling around 600,000 barrels a day of crude oil to the United States as Saudi refineries increased production to a record 12.3 million barrels per day. This comes at the same time that Saudi Arabian Oil Company stated it will cut output to 8.5 million barrels per day as part of the OPEC+ agreement.

April 16, 2020

Demand for OPEC Oil Reaches 30-Year Low

OPEC crude demand for Q2 is expected to be 19.73 million bpd, a sharp drop by 9.6 million bdp from Q2 2019. This will be the lowest demand for OPEC crude since 1989.

April 12, 2020

Mexico And Saudi Arabia At Oil Standoff

On April 12, negotiators are working to mediate a standoff between Mexico and Saudi Arabia regarding oil production after a tentative OPEC+ deal, which calls for a cut of 10 million barrels per day, was suggested to the oil producing countries. A compromise being offered to Mexico and Saudi Arabia is measuring exports rather than general output, allowing Mexico to keep producing on track but not exporting. 

April 9, 2020

OPEC+ Members To Decide On Historic Oil Production Cut

On April 9, OPEC+ members convened an emergency virtual meeting to discuss the scale of production cuts after President Donald Trump suggested a cut of 10 to 15 million barrels of crude oil. Energy ministers from G-20 countries will convene for their own meeting on Friday.

April 6, 2020

Russia, Saudi Arabia Meeting Delayed; Oil Prices Fall

Today, the price of oil continued to drop over the announcement that Russia and Saudi Arabia had delayed their meeting over future oil production cuts. The meeting originally was scheduled to take place today but has now been moved to Thursday. OPEC+ is working on a deal to cut production by 10 million barrels per day, or 10% of the world’s supply.

April 5, 2020

Moscow and Riyadh Close to an Oil Deal

On April 5, the chief executive of Russia’s sovereign wealth fund RDIF stated that Russia and Saudi Arabia are “very, very close” to a deal regarding oil production cuts. As the OPEC+ virtual meeting is expected to take place on Thursday, discussions are expected to be centered around reducing oil output. 

April 2, 2020

Oil Rises More Than 13%

On April 2, Brent crude oil futures increased 13.9%, raising a barrel by $4.17 and settling at $34.11. The rebound is attributed to reports that Russia and Saudi Arabia will be negotiating to end a price war that slashed oil prices in the previous month.

March 30, 2020

Global Oil Prices Drops Again Today to Lowest Levels since 2002

Today, the price of oil fell by 8% as fears of an extended shutdown from the coronavirus could last for months. The price of oil is at its lowest since 2002, as Brent has fallen to $22.5 a barrel, which is now down 65% for the year.

March 30, 2020

Saudi Arabia to Increase LPG Supplies to India

Yesterday, India’s Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan announced that India will increase imports of LPG from Saudi Arabia to sustain the countries domestic demand.

India is the world’s second-largest importer of LPG and the country is expected to see an increase in natural gas demand as the coronavirus lockdown starts to take effect.

March 30, 2020

Saudi Arabia to Increase Exports to 10.6 Million bpd in May

On Monday, a Saudi energy official announced that the kingdom would increase its oil exports to 10.6 million barrels per day since the country is burning less oil for power generation and a lack of demand from domestic use due to the lockdown from the coronavirus outbreak.

March 27, 2020

Saudi Arabia Struggles to Increase Oil Sales for April As Demands Drop

According to Reuters, Riyadh has been finding difficulty in marketing its oil as demands dropped while the kingdom increased its oil supply after failing to agree with Moscow on the extension of OPEC+ agreement.

Royal Dutch Shell, Finland’s Neste, and U.S. Polish and Indian refiners were taking less or not taking any oil for April.

March 24, 2020

In Low Oil and Gas Market, Oman Reevaluates Energy Portfolio

On Tuesday, an official in the Omani Finance Ministry announced that his country would be reviewing their oil and natural gas projects with a breakeven cost of more than $30/b, and that they are optimistic that global energy markets will improve in the second half of the year. The official said Oman was looking to raise $6 billion and that they would introduce a 5% budget cut in 2020 to balance the budget.

March 23, 2020

As Virus Shutdowns Expand, Oil Price and Demand Fall

On Monday, as fears of the virus spread and as more countries are instituting shutdowns, demand for travel and industry activity contracted leading to falls in Brent crude. Also, demand destruction is being effected as the oil market deals with a price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia.

March 20, 2020

US Energy Officials Push for an Energy Alliance with Saudi Arabia

In Washington, some members of the Energy Department are urging the Trump administration to push for an oil alliance with Saudi Arabia, which would create a partnership between the world’s two largest oil-producing nations. The move could lead to Saudi Arabia leaving OPEC and would help stabilize the global crude market; which is in a fall from the price war occurring between Saudi Arabia and Russia, and the fall in demand due to coronavirus shutdowns.

March 19, 2020

Price of Oil Up After Three Day Plunge; Still Curbed by Virus Fears

Today, the price of U.S. oil rose 10% after the past three days had reduced oil prices to their lowest in twenty years. Rising fears from coronavirus and the battle over market share between Saudi Arabia and Russia are still continuing to curb the price of oil from stabilizing.

March 18, 2020

Saudi Arabia to Raise its Oil Supply to 12.3 mln bpd in the Coming Months

Today, Saudi Energy Ministry said that it has ordered Aramco to continue oil supplies at a record of 12.3 million bpd over the coming months. The ministry added that oil exports are set to top 10 million bpd as of May.

March 17, 2020

Developing Countries Could Lose Up to 80% of Oil & Gas Income in 2020; Warns OPEC & IAE

The IAE and OPEC have released a joint statement warning that if the current market conditions continue the income of developing countries could fall to their lowest levels in more than two decades. IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol and OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo both have serious concerns that the coronavirus pandemic will have “far-reaching economic and social consequences” for developing countries. They have estimated that these countries could see their oil income fall by 50% to 80% this year alone.

March 17, 2020

Oman to Increase Oil Production to Maximum Levels

Sources have announced that when OPEC+ quotes expire at the end of March, Oman will be allying itself with their fellow neighbors, increasing their oil output levels to the maximum 1 million bpd. Oman has also announced that it will have a 5% cut to the budget due to the virus.

March 17, 2020

As Market Plummets Amongst Coronavirus and Price War; Price of Oil Could Drop into the Teens

Analysts have announced that oil could fall below $20 a barrel and some estimates have the stock market losing 30-40% of their value. The biggest hits to the market will occur after April, as the previous OPEC+ deal expires, which could plunge the price of oil into the teens.

March 16, 2020

Saudi Aramco CFO: Aramco is ‘very comfortable’ with $30 a Barrel Oil

Saudi Aramco’s CFO Khalid al-Dabbagh said yesterday that his company is “very comfortable” with the current oil price at $30 a barrel and that Aramco can meet its dividends commitments and shareholders expectations at this price.

March 16, 2020

Brent Oil Price Drops 8.5%

Today Brent price dropped $2.89  (or 8.5%) to reach $30.96, while U.S. crude oil West Texas Intermediate dropped $1.79 (5.6%) to reach $29.94.

Two days ago, U.S. President Donald Trump said Washington will take advantage of the drop in oil prices and fill the nation’s emergency crude oil reserve.

March 11, 2020

Mexico Hopes to Mend Relationship between Saudi Arabia and Russia Over Oil Price War

As the oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia escalates, Mexico and other nations are seeking a plan that will mend the relationship between the two oil rich nations. Mexico’s Finance Minister Arturo Hurrea hopes that as a third-party Mexico can help bridge the gap and mediate the two countries from flooding the market with supply.

March 10, 2020

Aramco to Increase Oil Production in April to 12.3 Million Barrel Per Day

On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia announced that they would increase oil supplies to a record high, a direct blow to the Kremlin’s suggestion for new talks. The CEO of Saudi Aramco announced that supply would increase to 12.3 million barrels per day in April. OPEC had previously been cutting production by 2.1 million bpd, until the breakdown in talks in Vienna last week. Russia rejected OPEC’s call for deeper cuts due to the coronavirus which led to the global price of crude plummeting Monday morning.

March 6, 2020

Kuwait Offers First Oil Cargo from Neutral Zone Oilfields

According to Reuters, Kuwait has offered the first cargo of crude oil from the Neutral Zone’s Khafji oilfield after a recent agreement between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to resume the zone’s production. The agreement ended a five year production halt. Production is expected to reach 500,000 bpd by the end of the year.

March 5, 2020

Bahrain considering state-run fund for oil and gas assets; encouraged by Aramco IPO

Bahrain is considering creating a state-run fund upon which it could sell shares to public investors like what Saudi Aramco did last year. The Gulf’s smallest country will transfer its oil and gas assets into the fund to help Bahrain achieve a balanced budget. Oil Minister Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa announced that the government is working on the project, and that they are still deciding which assets to be put forth and how they will be valued.

March 5, 2020

OPEC Agrees to Major Cuts, Conditional on Russian Approval

On Thursday, OPEC agreed to a further 1.5 million bpd cut for the second quarter of 2020. The decision is still pending, awaiting on approval by the Russian government and others within OPEC+. Extra supply cuts were necessary as demand was hurt by the effects of the coronavirus and the need to support the global price in the marketplace. The new cuts will be the deepest cuts implemented since the 2008 financial crisis.

March 5, 2020

Iran is Exempt from the New Production Cuts

Following OPEC’s approval of additional production cuts, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said his country was still exempt from the reduction. The minister also announced that OPEC wanted non-OPEC countries to contribute 500,000 bpd, out of the total 1.5 million. The deal is still awaiting approval from the Russian government.

March 4, 2020

Saudi Plan to Deepen Oil Cuts Meets Opposition from the Russian Government

According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, the Russian government will oppose Saudi Arabia’s plan to deepen oil cuts by a further 1.2 million barrels per day. The Kremlin has said they may be in support of extending current cuts, which expire in March, but are apprehensive of signing on to any deeper cuts.

March 4, 2020

Iran’s Oil and Gas Production Not Affected by Coronavirus

The Deputy Head of the National Iranian Oil Company announced on Wednesday that the coronavirus did not have any effect on oil or gas production within Iran. Since President Trump had instituted sanctions on Iran, crude exports have been diminished by 80 percent. The Iranian oil minister will be attending the OPEC meeting in Vienna at the end of this week.

March 3, 2020

Substantial Oil Output Cuts Being Discussed

On March 3, sitting OPEC President and Algerian Oil Minister Mohamed Arkab, said that discussions in Vienna will be over substantial cuts to oil production due to the outbreak.

Mr. Arkab stated that the cuts are a continuation of the policies that were agreed upon by OPEC and non-OPEC members last December

March 3, 2020

Iraqi Crude Exports up 5.6% in February

According to data obtained by S&P Global Platts, Iraq’s oil exports rose by 5.6% for the month of February, up from the previous month. The Kurdish region’s exports rose by more than a third, the highest levels since October 2017. The total export from Iraq for February was 3.873 million barrels per day.

March 3, 2020

OPEC Members Arrive in Vienna; Further Oil Output Cuts being Discussed

On March 3, OPEC members began arriving in Vienna for the scheduled March 5-6 meeting. The lead discussion among the members is the debate over further production cuts as fears of the coronavirus continue to lower global demand.

OPEC+ collectively agreed to a 1.7 million bpd cut late last year, while Saudi Arabia has cut an additional 400,000 bpd, putting the total current cuts at 2.1 million. As fears of the virus continue, ministers will discuss the possibility of another cut of 1 million bpd to support oil prices.

March 2, 2020

Geopolitical Issues Cause Drop in OPEC’s February Oil Output

According to a Reuters survey, this past February OPEC’s oil output dropped two its lowest levels since the height of 2009’s Global Financial Crisis. The drop is credited to geopolitical risks such as coronavirus’ impact on global crude demand, in addition to a drop in Libyan oil production which has caused the price of crude to drop below $50/barrel.

February 25, 2020

GCC Nations Plan on Investing in the Global Renewables Market

The power companies within the Gulf Cooperation Council are planning to invest in the global renewable energy market. The International Energy Agency projects the renewable marketplace will reach $10 trillion in value by 2040.

The Gulf countries plan on diversifying their holdings and expanding into natural gas and renewable energies sources so they can free up crude oil for export. According to a study published by the International Renewable Energy Agency; if the Gulf countries adapt to renewable resources by 2030, they could save 354 million barrels of oil equivalent.

February 25, 2020

OPEC+: Confident in Our Response to the Coronavirus

On Tuesday, the Saudi energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, announced that OPEC+ would responsibly react to the spread of the virus, ensuring that all its serious ramifications were being attended to.

The minister also reiterated that Saudi Arabia and Russia would continue discussions over oil policy. At the same meeting UAE’s Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei said that members would discuss and address the issue at the upcoming meeting.

Aramco CEO Amin Nasser described the issue as ‘short term’ and suspected that a change in demand from China would materialize in the second part of the year.

February 25, 2020

Oman Plans to Build Wind Farms n the Arabian Sea

Sources announced that Oman is planning to build offshore wind farms in the Arabian Sea. Oman’s undersecretary in the Ministry of Oil & Gas Salim Aufi confirmed that Oman has been in the planning stages of this development and that the announcement is going to be released sometime this year. Oman is aiming to use renewables to achieve 30 percent of its energy needs by 2030.

February 24, 2020

Saudi Aramco Begins Development of the Largest Shale Field outside of the U.S.

Aramco CEO Amin Nasser announced on Monday that Aramco would begin the development of the largest shale gas development outside of the United States. Aramco hopes the plan will help boost domestic gas supply and end the burning of oil at its power generation plants.

Saudi Aramco has been competing with the U.S. shale market for the past few years, ever since the U.S. revolutionized fracking techniques that allowed companies to pump oil from formations previously thought of as too costly.

Aramco also announced that they had perfected a process that uses seawater instead of freshwater while fracking, an impediment that had eluded Saudi Arabia due to its lack of the latter.

February 24, 2020

Saudi Arabia to Develop Jafurah Gas Field

Saudi Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman says the development of Jafurah, the largest gas field in the Kingdom, will help curtail the burning of some 688,000 bpd of oil that could otherwise be exported. Saudi Arabia plans to produce 90% of its power from gas and renewable energy in the future. Riyadh is planning to invest $110 billion in the development of Jafurah, which is estimated to hold 200 trillion cubic feet of gas.

February 23, 2020

Coronavirus Fears Lead to 4% Drop in Global Oil Prices

On Monday, oil prices dropped 4% due to the increase in the number of reported coronavirus cases. This has primarily occurred to investor worries, resulting in decreased demand. The virus has now spread to countries outside of China, including many of the Gulf countries, Italy, and South Korea.

February 20, 2020

OPEC+ Gathering in March will Not Be Made Sooner

OPEC, Russia, and other oil producers will not move their March 6th to take place at an earlier date. The organization had contemplated moving the date to late February due to fears of the coronavirus and its impact on global oil market demand.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak announced that no change in scheduling would occur and that any talks about deeper cuts would need to be discussed at the meeting in March.

February 19, 2020

French and Thai Companies Awarded Omani Oil Contracts

The Omani government has awarded two contracts to explore and develop gas deposits within Oman. Mohammed al-Rumhy, Oman’s oil minister, announced that the French Company Total and Thailand’s PTTEP had been granted the rights for Block 12 which covers about 9,546 square Kilometers inside Oman.

The discovery of the Mubrouk oil field in 2018 has led to an increase in exploration and undertaking multi-billion dollar projects to monetize gas from the field.

February 19, 2020

Price of Oils Goes Up 2% Due to Lessening Fears of Coronavirus

On Wednesday, the price of oil increased 2% as the spread of the coronavirus showed signs of a slowdown within China. New coronavirus cases fell for a second day according to official data. The World Health Organization still says that there is not enough data to show whether the virus was being contained. Brent crude settled at $59.12 a barrel, rising $1.37, or 2.4%.

February 18, 2020

Kuwait Petroleum Corp Secures Deal with Aramco Trading Co.

Trade sources have announced that Aramco Trading Co. (ATC) has signed a deal for a long-term contract with the state-based company Kuwait Petroleum Corp. The contract allows supplies of crude to be processed by Aramco-owned refineries located in Asia.

Aramco Trading has signed multiple deals with other countries starting late last year. ATC is trying to diversify its holding in refinery production and petrochemicals after a drone attack last September crippled Aramco’s output capacity.

February 18, 2020

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company Signs Deal with Petrofac Worth Billions

On Tuesday, the Abu Dhabi Natural Oil Company announced a deal with oilfield service provider Petrofac worth about $1.65 billion USD. The deal is now one of the biggest gas projects inside the Emirates.

Petrofac will provide engineering and construction on three major gas projects within the country – Hail, Ghasha, and Dalma and once done could produce more than 120,000 bpd.

The announcement raised shares of Petrofac up 1.5%. The move will also help bolster the UAE’s goal of gas self- efficiency.

February 17, 2020

Arab World’s First Nuclear Plant Granted License in UAE

A senior nuclear official announced Monday that the UAE had granted a license of operation for the first nuclear power plant in the Arab world. The plant is being built by Korea Electric Power Corporation and should begin production later this year. The plant was supposed to go online in 2017 but has been setback by delays.

The UAE wants to produce nuclear power to help diversify their rising energy needs and their reliance on oil, while also freeing up more crude for export in the future. Abu Dhabi plans to provide 6% of its total energy from nuclear power needs by 2050

February 17, 2020

Coronavirus fears lead to nearly 10% drop in oil markets

On Tuesday, the price of oil dropped almost 1% due to a decreased in demand from China and the lack of action taken by OPEC+ to stabilize the market.

OPEC has been in talks with Russia over the worsening situation on whether to extend further cuts. So far, however, no efforts by any nation have materialized. The price of oil was trading at 57 dollars as of 11 am on Feb. 11.

February 16, 2020

Kuwaiti Oil Minister Announces the Beginning of Joint Oil pumping venture with Saudi Arabia

Kuwait and Saudi Arabia agreed late last year to settle their dispute over the Neutral Zone oil fields of Wafra and Khafji. The two countries have begun a joint production operation that estimated to reach as high as 550,000 barrels per day by the end of 2020.

Kuwait also announced it was revising the country’s oil strategy and hoped to boost its production capacity to 4 million bpd by 2040.

February 16, 2020

Partnership between Qatar and Energy Firms delayed due to global price collapse.

Expansion plans for LNG production between Qatar and Western energy firms have been delayed by several months. The delays come as the global oil industry is reeling from the effects of the Coronavirus and the oversupply of the U.S. gas market.

Qatar sits on the largest reserve of natural gas in the world and had announced that they planned to expand production by 60 percent by 2027, instead of the originally planned 40% increase.

Qatar expected to announce the names of the Western firms at the beginning of 2020, but they are delaying the announcement until at least the middle of 2020 to shore up potential valuations and equity in the investment.

February 16, 2020

Saudi Arabia to become exporter of gas, petrochemicals; says minister

The Saudi Energy Minister plans to extend his country’s exports beyond crude, to include petrochemicals and natural gas. The petrochemical production announcement comes on the heels of its takeover of SABIC, and the discovery of new oil fields in the Red Sea.

Saudi Arabia is planning to diversify some its power generation by moving away from crude for electricity generation. The current plan is to transition the kingdom so that power production will be 70%  natural gas and 30% renewable energy.

February 10, 2020

U.S. Approves Waiver Extensions for Iraq to Continue Imports of Iranian Energy Products

Iraqi government officials have confirmed that the United States has extended waivers for Iraq to continue its importation of Iranian energy supplies. The United States has extended the oil waivers in the past, but last month, warned that they were considering ending the waivers.

The officials have stated that the U.S. was comfortable with another extension because Iraq had shown proactive steps in becoming less reliant on Iranian energy. The new waivers are good for a further 120 days.

February 9, 2020

Coronavirus Outbreak Cause of Global Oil Price Drop

The price of oil has dropped to the lowest level since December 2018. The Coronavirus has brought China’s transportation and manufacturing to a standstill and led to fears in the oil market.

Fueling concerns about Chinese demand and an already excessive oversupply in the market, has led to a 25 percent drop in global oil prices, while OPEC and Russia deliberate whether further cuts are needed to help stabilize the market.

February 9, 2020

Iranian Company Awarded Contract for Oil Recovery

A domestic company based in Iran was awarded an oil recovery contract worth 1.3 billion dollars in a statement released by Bijan Zanganeh, Iran’s Oil Minister. The 10-year contract was awarded to the National Iranian South Oil Company to increase oil production from 52,000 b/d to 85,000 b/d; with an estimate of 121 million barrels over the coming decade.

February 8, 2020

OPEC President Recommends Supply Cuts

Algerian Oil Minister and OPEC President Mohamed Arkab announced that a technical panel has given its recommendation that OPEC countries need to extend oil supply cuts until the end of 2020 due to Coronavirus.

Sectors such as tourism, transportation, and logistics have all seen a slump within China and amongst other Asian countries as well.

February 3, 2020

UAE Discovered a New Natural Gas Field with 80 Trillion Cubic Feet of Gas

Today, the United Arab Emirates announced the discovery of a natural gas field in Jebel Ali between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The new field contains about 80 trillion standard cubic feet of gas and according to authorities, it would help the country become more energy independent as it is still importing gas from Qatar to generate electricity.

February 3, 2020

OPEC+ Ready to Meet to Discuss Oil Price Drop Caused by Coronavirus

The Kremlin announced that President Vladimir Putin and King Salman bin Abdulaziz had a thorough discussion on current oil market conditions. Amid the Coronavirus outbreak, the price of crude oil has plunged more than 20% over the past three weeks.

OPEC and its allies have extensive exposure to any possible downturns in the market as they relate to China. China purchases almost 70% of its crude oil from OPEC and any large fall in demand would have a cascading effect on the world market.

Members of the coalition plan to meet in Vienna this week to discuss what technical demands must be carried out to combat the impact the Coronavirus will have on the global market.

February 3, 2020

Coronavirus has Impacted Oil Demand: Iranian Oil Minister

Iran’s official news agency reported that the Iranian oil minister Bijan Zanganeh has stated that the Coronavirus has impacted oil demands and that Iran was calling for a meeting of OPEC to help figure out how to stabilize prices.

The minister also stated that they would agree to a meeting if the other OPEC+ members would agree to production cuts. Zanganeh also stated that since “prices have dropped below $60 a barrel, that there must be an effort to stabilize prices”.

February 3, 2020

More Oil Cuts Being Considered by OPEC+

According to three industry sources, OPEC+ and its allies are considering cutting a further 500,000 barrels per day due to the impacts of Coronavirus. The price of oil has fallen to $56, which is lower than the level many OPEC countries need to balance their budgets.

February 2, 2020

Saudi Oil Output Tops 9 million b/d in January

A Saudi oil industry source announced that Saudi Arabia had produced 9.744 million b/d of crude oil this past month, 400,000 bpd below its quota according to the OPEC+ agreement.

As prices have dropped due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, Saudi Arabia has urged OPEC+ members to move up the date of the ministerial meeting to discuss fears of a global dip in crude markets.

Estimates show that the worst-case scenario for oil demand could fall to 900,000 b/d in February and 650,000 b/d in March.

January 27, 2020

Regulators for the European Union to Rule on Aramco-SABIC Deal

Aramco announced in March 2019 that it planned to invest in a 70% stake in Saudi Basic Industries Corp. Anti-trust regulators from the European Union will have to decide by February 27th on whether the $69 billion deal can move forward without any conditions.

Other countries, such as India, have approved the acquisition without demanding any concessions.

January 27, 2020

Coronavirus will have Little Impact on Market; Says OPEC President

OPEC’s President Mohamed Arkab expects the virus to have little influence on the global oil market. Speaking to Algeria state news agency Arkab, who is also Algeria’s Energy Minister, states that they are monitoring any developments that could interact with the global energy market.

January 27, 2020

Qatar Tells India No to Re-Negotiation Over Existing LNG Deals

Pharamendra Pradhan, India’s Oil Minister, wants Qatar to re-negotiate their deals over imported gas and its price link to crude oil.

India and Qatar signed a deal for long term natural gas supplies in 1999. The price of gas was tied to the price of crude at the time because of the more well-developed oil markets. However, in 2015, both parties modified the deal which led to a 50% price reduction for India.

India believes that the current formula linking natural gas with crude oil is not correct and that there needs to be an independent formula for pricing.

Qatar’s energy minister, Saad Shenda al-Kaabi says that they will not negotiate any existing contracts, but that they are open to supplying more natural gas for India’s rising demand.

January 13, 2020

OPEC Secretary General says OPEC+ Agreement will Endure

As a result of the greater demand from participants during the initial offering, Saudi Aramco allowed companies to issue more shares in the public offering.

The company said that it has exercised its “greenshoe option” to sell an additional 450 million shares, raising the size of its initial public offering to a record of $29.4 billion.

January 13, 2020

US Officials Coordinate with China to Stem Flow of Iranian Oil Imports

Working behind the scenes U.S officials are making in-roads with members of the Chinese government to stop roughly 200,000 b/d of crude from reaching independent refiners within China. US treasury experts warn China of impending sanctions unless they can curtail Iranian oil imports.

January 12, 2020

Saudi Aramco Raises Record IPO Offering

As a result of the greater demand from participants during the initial offering, Saudi Aramco allowed companies to issue more shares in the public offering.

The company said that it has exercised its “greenshoe option” to sell an additional 450 million shares, raising the size of its initial public offering to a record of $29.4 billion.

January 11, 2020

UAE Energy Minister Expects Higher Oil Demand in 2020

UAE’s Energy Minister Suhail Al-Mazrouei expected oil demand to be better in 2020 and the U.S. shale production to be flat or to decline by 2021. Al-Mazrouei is not worried about Russian reluctance to OPEC+ commitments and that they are confident that Russia will stay in the agreement. Al-Mazrouei continued; referencing that supply would not be an issue, as US producers had overestimated production and they could face some financial challenges in 2020.

January 8, 2020

Amid Escalations With Iran, Saudi Aramco Shares Drop

The crisis with Iran precipitated a 12 % drop in Saudi Aramco shares, this is the largest drop in share price since the company debuted onto the market on December 11. Shares were trading at 34 Riyals ($9.06) down from their peak of 38.70 Riyals. The market value of Saudi Aramco has fallen almost 200 million dollars since its peak at the end of 2019.

January 8, 2020

$100 Barrels of Oil Possible if Iran Cuts Off Passage to Vital Trade Route

Rising geopolitical tensions in the Gulf region are creating worry among investment analysts. Energy experts predict that if Iran were to cut access to the Strait of Hormuz, crude futures could push towards triple digits. The Strait is positioned between Iran and Oman and only 21 miles wide at its narrowest point. Over 21 million barrels flow through the Strait each day, and the Energy Information Agency calculates that 76% of this is headed to the Asian market.

2019
December 31, 2019

UAE’s First Nuclear Power Plant to be Operational in Q1 2020

A local Emirati newspaper says the UAE’s first nuclear power plant will start operations in the first quarter of 2020 when one of its four reactors becomes operational.

Once the license for the first reactor is issued, fuel loading will begin, and energy production will gradually be increased until full commercial operation is achieved in a few months.

December 17, 2019

Oman Oil Company Revenues Estimated at $20 billion

An Oman Oil Company official said the revenues of the company in 2019 are estimated at $20 billion with profits of $556 million.

He added that the group aims to increase its contribution to the country’s gross domestic product from $10 billion in 2018 to $20 billion by 2030, with a plan to invest $28 billion in future development projects.

December 17, 2019

Saudi Aramco Completes Acquisition of 17% in South Korea Hyundai Oilbank

Saudi Aramco has become the second-largest shareholder in Hyundai Oilbank following its purchase of 17 percent of the company for $1.2 billion. The completion of this deal will increase Aramco’s oil refining capabilities by 650,000 b/d and is an important step in the company’s aim to double its refining capacity from 5 million b/d to 10 million over the long-term.

December 16, 2019

Sanctions Block Pending Oil Payments for Iran from South Korea

Iranian authorities have demanded payment of $6 billion from South Korea for oil sold to the country in recent years. According to unnamed sources, the South Korean government deposited the funds into two South Korean banks, but has since been unable to transfer the money to Iran because of US sanctions.

December 15, 2019

Aramco Shares Increase by 1.6%

Shares of Saudi Aramco rose for the third straight day as demand from passive investors has continued to increase. Listed on December 11 at an initial price of 32 Saudi riyals ($8.53) per share, following Sunday’s gains Aramco shares are now trading at 37.4 riyals ($9.97) on the Saudi Stock Exchange. These gains also mean that for the first time Aramco is valued at more than $2 trillion.

December 12, 2019

IEA Expects Oil Market to Remain Oversupplied

On December 12, the International Energy Agency (IEA) announced its expectation of a sharp increase in global oil inventories despite the increase of oil production cuts.

The IEA said in its monthly report, “Despite the additional curbs… and a reduction in our forecast of 2020 non-OPEC supply growth to 2.1 million barrels per day (bpd), global oil inventories could build by 700,000 bpd in Q1 2020,”

December 11, 2019

Aramco’s IPO Begins Trading, Shares Surge 10%

On December 11, 2019, Saudi Aramco shares rose 10% (from 32 to 35.2 Saudi Riyals) in early deals in Riyadh. It surpassed its earlier valuation of $1.7 trillion as the new price gives the company a valuation of $1.88 trillion, the world’s largest on record.

According to Samba Capital (one of Aramco’s advisors), 10.5% of the offers came from foreign investors, while most were from Saudi funds and companies.

December 3, 2019

Kuwait Confirms $1Billion Investment in Saudi Aramco’s IPO

On Monday December 2, 2019, the Kuwait Investment Authority communicated its decision to invest in the Saudi Aramco IPO following government advisement that a stake was in the country’s strategic interest.

Kuwait’s move follows the UAE’s decision to invest $1.5 billion in Aramco. A second major investor from the Gulf region will be a relief for Saudi Arabia after plans to market the IPO globally were abandoned.

November 27, 2019

Kuwait and UAE Considering Investing in Saudi Aramco IPO

Aramco officials have held investment talks with Kuwait and UAE, each of which have large sovereign funds totaling about $1.3 trillion in assets. The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) is considering investing at least $1 billion, with a final decision on the amount yet to be approved. The Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) also has plans to invest in the IPO, although the size of their commitment is also unclear.

Saudi Arabia aims to sell a 1.5% stake in Aramco, valuing the company at $1.6 trillion to $1.7 trillion, a lower valuation than the $2 trillion target initially sought. These investments from its Gulf neighbors would help Riyadh as it strives to raise $25.6 billion from a domestic listing of the state-owned oil giant.

November 26, 2019

Increasing Demand Raises Saudi Crude Imports in China to 76.3% in October

Saudi Arabian oil exports to China rose 76.3% in October, boosted by demand from new refiners. Saudi shipments grew to 1.98 million bpd in October compared to 1.74 million bpd in September and 1.12 million over the same period last year.

With this rise in exports to China, Saudi Arabia retains its position as the top supplier to the world’s biggest oil importer.

November 25, 2019

Qatar LNG Expansion Project to Boost Production to 126 Million tons by 2027

On November 25, 2019, Qatar Petroleum (QP) CEO Saad al-Kaabi, confirmed that the productive layers of the North Field extend well into Ras Laffan, with gas reserves in the field now exceeding 1,760 trillion cubic feet.

Al-Kaabi also said, “This will raise Qatar’s LNG production from currently 77 million tons to 126 million tons per annum by 2027, representing an increase of about 64%.”

November 20, 2019

Putin: Russia to Continue Cooperation with OPEC for a Balanced & Predictable Oil Market

On November 20, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia’s “common goal with OPEC is for the market to be balanced, acceptable for producers and consumers, and most importantly, predictable.”

Meanwhile, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak declined to disclose Russia’s position for the upcoming OPEC+ meeting, but said that Russia will aim to stick to its commitments under the deal in November.

However, sources told Reuters that Russia is unlikely to agree to deepen oil cuts during the meeting but could commit to extending existing curbs to support Saudi Arabia. OPEC will be meeting on December 5th in Vienna, followed by talks with a group of other affiliated exporters, including Russia, known as OPEC+.

November 18, 2019

Iraq Protesters Block Access to Oilfields in Basra

Protests in Basra are threatening Iraq’s largest oil fields as anti-government demonstrations in the south of the country have blocked access to the oil fields located west of Basra.

While Iraqi oil exports have remained steady there is a concern that escalation of protests could threaten oil production and exports.

November 18, 2019

India’s Oil Imports from OPEC Hit Lowest since 2011

India’s imports of OPEC oil have fallen to their lowest level since 2011 as refiners purchased more fuel from the U.S. and other non-OPEC producers. Also, a combination of refinery maintenance and India’s desire to diversify sources of oil have also contributed to this decline.

OPEC’s share fell to 73% of India’s total oil imports in October, down eight percent from September.

November 13, 2019

Bahrain’s First LNG Portal to Become Operational by Year’s End

Teekay LNG Partners, one of the companies behind Bahrain’s long-awaited LNG regasification terminal has announced that the facility will be operational by the end of 2019.

The startup of the terminal has been delayed twice without mentioning the reasons for the delay.

October 26, 2019

U.S.-Saudi discussions for nuclear possession are in progress

As the world’s top oil exporter, Saudi Arabia talks about plans to use nuclear power to enhance its energy supply. However, conversations between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia have been difficult. Saudi Arabia does not want to be forced into a deal that would prevent them the possibility of enriching uranium or reprocessing spent fuel – both potential risks for a bomb.

October 24, 2019

U.S. Businesses Licensed To Continue Work In North Sea Field Partly Owned By Iran

On October 24, 2019, the U.S. Treasury extended energy producer Serica’s license to continue operations at the Rhum field in the North Sea, until February 28, 2021. The waiver by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) allows U.S. businesses such as oilfield service providers to work on the field while the National Iranian Oil Company is targeted by U.S. sanctions.
According to Serica CEO Mitch Flegg, Rhum was the third-largest gas producing field in the British North Sea in the second quarter of 2019. Serica owns 50% of the Rhum field, which it acquired from BP last year, and Iran’s national oil company owns the remaining 50%. Iran’s share of the revenues from the field goes into an escrow account.

October 23, 2019

Japan and Saudi Arabia will renew crude oil storage deal

Japan and Saudi Arabia have acceded to extend their joint crude oil storage deal as it approaches expiration. This move will give the Middle East oil exporter quick and easy access to its essential customers in the Far East.

Currently, Aramco leases 8.18 million barrels of crude oil storage capacity at Okinawa for commercial usages in return for prioritizing supply to Japan in case of unexpected events occurring.

For Japan, storing oil domestically from its prudent suppliers such as Saudi Arabia has become paramount following the September 14th attacks on Aramco, where Japan counts on 90% of its crude import requirements.

October 22, 2019

Masdar receives an offer to work on Uzbekistan solar project

Masdar, a branch of Mubadala Investment Company in the UAE, has confirmed it has earned a bid to develop Uzbekistan’s first public-private partnership (PPP) solar project.

As one of the world’s main renewable energy companies, Masdar will develop the 100-megawatt (MW) utility-scale solar plant, under the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) Scaling Solar program.

October 21, 2019

Omani oil production predicts 1.1 million bpd by 2022

Oman anticipates growing its oil production quantity to 1.1 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2022, from this year’s total of 970,000 bpd.

According to reports, “We also assume that gas production will expand, with new production coming on stream from the Khazzan II field in 2021 and the Mabrouk field in the medium term, beyond our forecast horizon. Higher gas production will in turn support the expansion of petrochemicals, power generation, and enhanced oil recovery projects.”

Despite these plans for expansion, negative effects will also be present in the process. These effects will include extrinsic debt and excessive funding costs between 2019-22.

October 20, 2019

Secondary Circuit of Iran’s Arak Nuclear Reactor To Be Operational

On Sunday October 20, 2019, Ali Asghar Zarean, a special assistant to the chief of Iran’s Energy Organization, said that the secondary circuit of the Arak heavy water nuclear reactor would be ready within two weeks. This would not be in violation of the restrictions placed on Iran’s nuclear power under the JCPOA.

Iran has the capacity to produce up to 25 tons of heavy water per year, which can be employed in reactors to produce plutonium, a fuel used in nuclear warheads. Despite having nuclear technology, Iran has never pursued building or using nuclear weapons as it is forbidden by its religion, the country’s highest political authority, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said in early October.

October 16, 2019

Yemen’s Safer Oil Company Resumes Production

Safer oil company, owned by the internationally recognized government of Yemen, resumed oil production from their fields in Shabwa to a terminal on the Arabian sea for international export.

Currently, Safer is pumping 5,000 barrels per day (bpd) and anticipates that oil production of the  pipeline will reach up to 15,000 bpd.

Prior to the collapse of Yemen’s oil output, Yemen produced an average of 127,000 bpd of crude in 2014. Last year, only 50,000 bpd was produced with limited quantities for oil distribution abroad.

October 16, 2019

US permits Iraq a waiver for Iranian energy resources

The US has authorized Iraq their fifth 120-day waiver that will allow them to continue with the imports of Iranian electricity and natural gas despite US sanctions.

According to a State Department spokesman, “”The waiver ensures that Iraq is able to meet its short-term energy needs while it takes steps to reduce its dependence on Iranian energy imports. We engage regularly with the Iraqi government to support measures that improve Iraq’s energy independence.”

October 15, 2019

New Energy Deals between the UAE and Russia

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has confirmed to sell a portion in the Ghasha gas project to Lukoil, a Russian oil company, as well as agreed to a strategic deal with Gazprom Neft in terms of technological cooperation.

The two countries had previously talked about increasing bilateral energy sources, including their cooperation in the OPEC+ crude oil production cut deal. Also, both countries are members of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum.

ADNOC will grant Lukoil a 5% share in the Ghasha concession, which includes other sour gas fields offshore in Abu Dhabi.

October 14, 2019

Iraq and Turkey Consider Rebuilding Oil Pipeline

As of October 14, 2019, Iraq and Turkey have announced that they were looking into constructing a second pipeline that could more than double existing export capacity. Due to the reestablishment of control by Iraqi militias and the Central Government over areas liberated from ISIS, Ankara is turning towards Baghdad for new energy deals.

The new pipeline would create an alternative route for Iraqi oil exports and would also connect to infrastructure in Central and Southern Iraq. This would improve the country’s energy security as oil exports can be diverted towards the north in case the Strait of Hormuz is choked off.

October 14, 2019

Saudi Oil Output To Reach Pre-Attack Levels In October And November

On October 14, 2019, Saudi energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said that Saudi Arabia’s oil production will recover in October and November to levels seen before the attacks on its oil fields in September and expected to reach 9.86 million bpd in October and November. According to the energy minister, production capacity would reach 12 million bpd by the end of November.

October 14, 2019

Attacks On Saudi Oil Facilities Result in OPEC+ Production Cuts In September Leading To Compliance Rate Of More Than 200% of Cut Deal

On October 14 2019, sources reported that OPEC and its non-OPEC allies in the production cut deal achieved a compliance rate of more than 200% with their cuts in September, primarily due to the September attacks on vital oil facilities in OPEC’s largest producer Saudi Arabia. According to OPEC secondary sources, Saudi oil production plunged by 1.28 million bpd to 8.564 million bpd in September.

Other members with lower production include non-compliant Iraq and Nigeria who cut some of their overproduction but were still off target. In Iran production declined by 34,000 bpd to 2.159 million bpd. In Venezuela production plunged by 82,000 bpd to average just 644,000 bpd in September.

Russia, largest non-OPEC producer part of the pact, saw oil production inch down in September, to 11.25 million bpd from 11.29 million bpd in August, but still above Moscow’s cap under the deal.

Due to the attacks on Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s total production slumped by 1.318 million bpd from August to 28.491 million bpd in September. Additionally, it was found that OPEC pumped 28.45 million bpd of crude oil last month, down by 1.48 million bpd from August – the steepest monthly drop in nearly 17 years.

October 13, 2019

Iran Discovers Natural Gas In Fars Province

On October 13, 2019, Reza Dehghan, director of development and engineering affairs at the National Iranian Oil Company, told reporters that the country had discovered a natural gas deposit in the Eram reservoir in the southern province of Fars.

The development of the Eram gas field will start in two or three years and the gas is set to be used for domestic consumption as well as for Eram itself to prevent a decline in pressure.

Eram also holds as much as 385 million barrels of condensates, whose value could be as much as $40 billion.

October 13, 2019

Russia Takes Interest In Saudi Aramco IPO

On October 13, 2019, Kiril Dmitriev, chief executive officer of Russian sovereign wealth fund RDIF, said that Russian investors are interested in a planned IPO of Saudi Aramco.

Dmitriev was speaking ahead of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Saudi Arabia, where a global oil output deal between members of OPEC and non-OPEC countries would be discussed.

October 8, 2019

Qatar Invites International Oil Firms to Participate in the Expansion of North Field

The Qatari Minister of State for Energy Affairs Saad Al-Kaabi said his country has recently invited international oil and gas companies (ExxonMobil, Shell, ConocoPhillips, and Total) to submit offers for the expansion of production and export capacity of the Qatari share of the North Field (the world’s largest gas field).

Qatar aims to increase its LNG production capacity by 43%, from the current annual amount of 77 million tons to 110 million tons. The plan is set to be completed by 2024.

October 2, 2019

Saudi Oil Prices for Asia Are Expected to Increase in November

Saudi Arabia is expected to increase crude oil prices for the Asian market as a result of the attack on two Saudi oil facilities and the subsequent reduction in oil output. While the official selling price for Arab Light Crude is expected to jump more than 50 cents per barrel, experts say that prices for November are difficult to forecast due to additional supplies provided to Asian customers by Saudi Arabia, as well as a rapid return to pre-attack production levels.

September 26, 2019

Saudi Oil Exports to China Increase While Iranian Exports Drop

Saudi Arabia held on to its place as China’s largest producer of oil in August, despite the recent oil facility attacks. According to the General Administration of Customs, Saudi Arabia exported 7.79 million tons of oil to China last month. In July, the total of exports was 6.99 million tons.

Meanwhile, Iranian oil exports to China in August dropped to 787,657 tons from 926,119 tons in July.

September 24, 2019

Drop of Saudi Oil Exports After Abqaiq Attack

Saudi Arabia’s oil supply has slipped by approximately 1.5 million bpd since the September 14th attacks on Abqaiq. Nearly 5.7 million barrels per day have been lost as a result of the attack on the refining facilities.

Aramco and the Saudi officials have said that the company is currently working to restore the lost production capacity. According to Reid I’Anson , a global economist at Kpler said, “They have just over 55 million barrels left. They could go another four or five weeks realistically from the rates we’re seeing. That could change based on the internal situation, if they are able to get some of this back online.”

September 17, 2019

Despite Anticipated Setbacks to Aramco Offering, Saudi IPO Planning Goes Forward

According to Reuters, an Aramco pre-IPO meeting with analysts will still go ahead as planned despite last weekend’s attack on oil facilities.

The attack on the Saudi oil facilities might highlight the potential vulnerability of its key infrastructure and raises questions over the appropriate level of risk to be factored in the valuation.

The state-owed company continues to prepare for a local IPO, which the sources said may happen as early as November.

September 17, 2019

Oil Drops to 5% as the Saudis Indicate a Return to Normal Output

Saudi Energy minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, said in a press conference today that oil output will be back to pre-attack levels by the end of September.

The largest oil processing facility and the nearby oil field were attacked on Saturday knocking out 5.7 million barrels of daily oil production from Saudi Arabia.

September 14, 2019

Saudi Arabia’s Oil Facility in Abqaiq Is Attacked

Saudi Arabia’s main oil facilities have been targeted at their core, causing an interference to their oil output this past weekend. The drone attacks targeted one of Saudi Arabia’s main oil industries, Abqaiq, as well as the nearby oilfields. The origin of these attacks remains unknown. The attack took off the market nearly 5.7 million barrel of Saudi production, which is more than 5% of the global oil supply.

September 9, 2019

Qatar Shortlisted Oil Firms for a Stake in North Field Expansion

Qatar Petroleum CEO and Minister of State for Energy Saad al-Kaabi told Reuters that Doha has shortlisted international oil companies for a stake in the megaproject, North Field expansion.

Total, Exxon Mobil, Shell, and Italy’s Eni have all offered Qatar Petroleum stakes in prize assets abroad in a bid to win a stake in the multibillion project.

The minister said that his country might still choose to go alone in the project unless partnership offers Doha a significant value.

Qatar Petroleum plans to increase its LNG production from 77 to 110 million tons per year over the next five years by building four new production facilities.

September 9, 2019

New Energy Minister in Saudi Arabia Reiterates Commitment to OPEC+

The newly appointed Saudi Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman reiterated the importance of OPEC+ alliance for the market’s balance and the alliance is “staying for the long term”. The new minister told reporters that there will be no radical changes in the oil production policy of Saudi Arabia.

The new minister was appointed on Saturday replacing Khalid Al-Falih, the second change in the position in three years.

September 9, 2019

Saudi Arabia Wants to Enrich Uranium

The newly appointed Saudi Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman said today that his country wants to enrich uranium. The new minister told reporters “we are proceeding with it cautiously … we are experimenting with two nuclear reactors.”

The tender is expected in 2020 while firms from the U.S., Russia, South Korea, China, and France are involved in preliminary talks about the multi-billion-dollar project.

September 6, 2019

Iraq’s Oil Production Hits a Record of $4.88 Million bpd

According to S&P Global Platts, OPEC’s second largest producer Iraq, has reached record oil production of 4.88 million bpd in August.

Iraq’s August production was a 370,000-bpd excess of its 4.51 million bpd cap set in  the OPEC+ production cut policy.

September 6, 2019

Kuwait’s Oil Production Up by 35,000 bpd

According to data released by the Kuwait Oil Company Kuwait’s oil production increased in August by 35.000 bpd to reach 2.69 million bpd. Despite this increase, the production remained below the cap set by OPEC+.

August 29, 2019

Aramco Proposes Two-Stage IPO, Shunning London, Hong Kong

Aramco is considering launching its IPO in two stages. First, on the Saudi stock exchange, Tadawul, then internationally. Initially, the United Kingdom, United States, and China were considered for the second stage, but the unstable political situations in the United Kingdom and Hong Kong begged reconsideration. Aramco also fears facing lawsuits in the United States due to the 2016 Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, which allows the families of victims of terrorism to sue foreign countries.

August 28, 2019

Crimea Offers Iran Help in Oil Shipping

The Deputy Prime Minister of Crimea, Georgy Muradov, suggested that “Iran can use our shipping capabilities, river-sea canals in such situation and carry oil over the Volga-Don canal, via Crimea, to the Black Sea.” This would allow Iran to bypass the Suez Canal and avoid potential confrontations with Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United States. Muradov’s statement comes weeks after Iran’s Grace 1 oil tanker was seized by British Royal Marines off the coast of Gibraltar.

August 26, 2019

Iran Says It Sold Oil on Released Gibraltar Tanker

An Iranian government spokesperson said today that his country sold the oil from the tanker released in Gibraltar without identifying the recipient of the oil nor the destination.

The vessel carries 2 million barrels of oil, and a U.S. federal court has recently ordered the seizure of the tanker. Tehran threatened that a U.S. move to seize the tanker would have heavy consequences.

August 21, 2019

U.S. Says Iran’s Oil Exports Fell to Below 100,000 bpd in July

US Department of State’s special representative for Iran Brian Hook said that US sanctions on Iran’s oil sector have caused a drop in Iranian oil exports to below 100,000 bpd, adding that the sanctions have disrupted nearly $50 billion in annual revenue for the Iranian government.

August 20, 2019

Unit 3 in the UAE’s Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant was successfully Energized

On August 20th, The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) announced that it has safely and successfully energized Unit 3’s main power transformer and gas insulated bus. The agency said that the unit’s auxiliary power transformers and excitation transformer were energized in normal operating configuration.

The construction of the UAE’s Barakah nuclear power plant is moving ahead with Unit 1 complete, Unit 2 stands at 95%, Unit 3 at 91%, and Unit 4 at 82%.

August 20, 2019

Aramco’s Motiva to Buy Flint Hills Port Arthur, Texas Chemical Plant

Aramco’s refinery branch in the United States, Motiva, signed an agreement to purchase the Flint Hills Resources chemical plant near its Port Arthur operations in Texas. The details of the agreement have yet to be released. Motiva’s Port Arthur refinery is the largest in the United States.

August 19, 2019

Saudi Aramco Opens Bids for IPO

Saudi Arabia asked several banks to submit proposals for potential roles in the expected initial public offering. It is currently unknown which banks have received requests from Aramco, but Saudi energy minister, Khalid Al-Falih, said Aramco would go public by 2021.

August 18, 2019

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority Awards $380 Million Contract for Hatta Dam

The contract was awarded to Strabag Dubai, Strabag AG, Andritz Hydro and Ozkar, to be commissioned by 2024. The dam is expected to generate 250MW of power. The project is part of a 2016 ten-year plan to transform the Hatta region.

August 12, 2019

Oil Prices Stabilize as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait Are Expected to Reduce Output

Today oil price continued to stabilize despite fear of slowing oil demand as a result of the U.S.-China trade war. Oil price steadiness was motivated by statements from Kuwait’s oil minister who evidenced his country’s commitment to the production cut accord as Kuwait has lowered its oil production by more than required by the OPEC+ agreement.

Also, about Saudi Aramco’s IPO, an analyst at Price Futures Group said “The Saudis will need a higher price for oil for its IPO, and this confirms they’ll do whatever it takes to get oil prices up”

August 5, 2019

Russian and Saudi Energy Ministers Meet in Moscow

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih met his Russian counterpart Alexander Novak in Moscow alongside the heads of several Russian energy companies involved in cooperation with Saudi Arabia.

The Russian president Vladimir Putin is set to visit Riyadh in October. Additionally, Saudi Aramco is among the contenders to join Russia’s Arctic LNG-2 project.

July 29, 2019

Yemen Calls Oil on Companies to Resume Production

Ministry of Oil and Minerals Abdullah al-Awd urged national and international oil companies to resume production.

Yemen’s oil production has collapsed since the start of the war in 2015. Currently, Hadi’s government controls Yemen’s oil and gas fields in the south, while the Houthis control the oil terminal of Ras Issa on the western coast.

Last February al-Awad said Yemen has plans to increase production to 110,000 bpd. The country’s main oil streams are light and sweet Marib and medium-gravity and more sulfur-rich Masila.

July 29, 2019

Oman to Increase its LNG Production by 10% in Two Years

Mohammed al-Naseeb, Chief Marketing Officer of Oman LNG told S&P Global Platts that his country is planning to increase its LNG production by 10% from 10.5 to 11.5 million mt/year through debottlenecking.

The sultanate is also investing in the exploration and development of several oil and gas fields.

July 26, 2019

Saudi Arabia to Expand Export Capacity from East-West Pipeline

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said his country is planning to increase oil exports by 40% through the east-west pipeline via the Yanbu port city on the Red Sea to avoid passing through the Strait of Hormuz.

Currently, the pipeline capacity is at 5 million bpd and the Saudi government is planning to increase it to 7 million bpd within two years.

July 26, 2019

Oman Expects More Oil and Gas Discoveries in the Northwest

Omani Oil and Gas Minister Mohammed al-Rumhi said his country is expecting to discover more oil and gas in the northwest part of the sultanate near Mabrouk field which holds four trillion cubic feet of gas and 112 million barrels of condensate.

Oman is the biggest non-OPEC oil producer in the Middle East with production in June 2019 at one million bpd of oil and condensate. Muscat also produces 3 billion cubic feet of gas per day with plans to increase investment on gas production and exploration.

July 23, 2019

New Agreement Between UAE’s ADNOC and China’s CNOOC

On the sides of MBZ’s visit to China, UAE’s ADNOC signed an agreement with China National Offshore Oil Co (CNOOC) to explore and develop oil and LNG fields.

CNOOC Group’s statement said the companies will share the latest technologies to develop ultra-acidic natural gas fields. The agreement also includes enlisting other Chinese companies to design, construct and provide services for ADNOC oilfields.

July 22, 2019

Morgan Stanley Doesn’t See Gulf Tension Leading to a Sustained Jump in Oil Prices

As oil price went up by 2% today after Iranian seizure of a UK oil tanker, Morgan Stanley said that it does not expect the tension near the Strait of Hormuz to lead to a sustained increase in oil prices.

Morgan Stanley’s global oil strategist Martijn Rats told CNBC “There is a difference in the oil market this time around because non-OPEC is simply growing so fast. That is the real game changer and that’s why the price action is relatively benign,”

July 22, 2019

Saudi Arabia to Start its First Wind Power Plant

Saudi Arabia plans to build its first wind power plant with French Electricite de France and Emirati Mubadala Investment Co.
The project is set to start generating power in three years while the Saudi government has pre-qualified 60 companies to bid for 12 renewable projects in 2019.
Riyadh has plans to increase its reliance on LNG and renewables to generate power instead of oil, of which it now uses 600,000 bpd.

July 19, 2019

U.S. to Become the World’s Largest LNG Exporter by 2024

An official at the International Energy Agency expected that by 2024 the U.S. will become the world’s largest LNG exporter by exporting over 100 billion cubic meters, exceeding current top exporters Qatar and Australia.

The source also said China’s imports of LNG are expected to rise to over 100 billion cubic meters by 2024, exceeding those of Japan.

July 17, 2019

UAE’s ADNOC State-Run Oil Company Plans Overhaul

Reuters report said UAE’s state-run oil company is planning an overhaul of its trading operations by launching regional oil benchmarks and hiring the former employees of private-sector peers. The company also plans to start full in-house trading for refined oil products.

UAE is OPEC’s third-largest oil producer and has plans to boost its oil production to 4 million bpd by 2020.

July 15, 2019

IEA Forecasts an Oversupplied Oil Market in 2020

In a report released last Friday, The International Energy Agency revealed it expected an over-supply of oil for 2020. The IEA also expects oil demand from OPEC’s 14 members to drop to 28 million bpd during Q1 of 2020, the lowest in 16 years.

The Paris-based organization linked the oil glut to the stock buildup that has resulted from the market’s oversupply in 2018, 2019 and the growing production by the United States and other non-OPEC members.

July 12, 2019

OPEC Forecasts Lower Demand in 2020

In its monthly report, OPEC expected lower oil demands in 2020 with a 1.34 million bpd drop from this year to be at 29.27 million bpd from the 14 member-states.

The drop of oil demands from OPEC members was linked to the increase of oil supply from non-OPEC oil producers, mainly the U.S.

This forecast will probably give the U.S. more room to keep sanctions on OPEC members, Iran and Venezuela.

July 10, 2019

Saudi Arabia to Expand Marjan and Berri Oilfields

Saudi Aramco awarded an $18 billion contract to various companies for the expansion of Marjan and Berri oilfields with expectations to add 550,000 bpd of Arabian Crude to its production.

Amin Nasser, Armaco’s president and CEO said “These two programs will significantly enhance Saudi Aramco’s oil production and gas processing capabilities.”

July 10, 2019

Oman’s Petrogas and HitecVision to Buy Total’s British North Sea Oilfields

HitecVision and Oman’s Petrogas have teamed up to buy a portfolio of Total’s British North Sea oilfields for $635 million.

The oilfields currently produce 25,000 bpd but the two companies have plans to expand the production to 100,000 bpd within 2-3 years.

July 9, 2019

Saudi Arabia Pumped 9.7 Million bpd in June

According to a source at OPEC, Saudi Arabia pumped 9.78 million bpd in June, a slight increase from the 9.67 million bpd produced in May.

The production level remained below the 10.3 million bpd, Riyadh’s production quota in OPEC’s oil reduction pact.

July 2, 2019

OPEC+ Agree to Extend Production Cut till March 2020

One day after OPEC members reached a deal to extend oil production cuts till March 2020, Russia and nine other non-OPEC oil producers joined the extension of the cuts.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters that “it is right not to make any sudden movements now and maintain the situation as it is,” meanwhile, OPEC+ will monitor the situation and make necessary changes when needed.

July 2, 2019
June 28, 2019

Saudi Arabia and Russia are Discussing the Extension of Supply Cuts

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said today that his country and Saudi Arabia are still discussing the extension of the production cut policy.

An OPEC+ meeting is set for Tuesday, July 2 in Vienna, meanwhile, OPEC’s top producers, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, UAE and Kuwait have supported the extension of the deal.

June 28, 2019

UAE Became Japan’s Largest Oil Supplier in May

Last May the UAE became Japan’s largest oil supplier as it increased oil exports to Japan by 42.8% from April to average 1.03 million b/d.
Japan is Asia’s third-largest energy consumer and the spike of oil imports from the UAE was to make up for the loss of Iranian oil as US waivers ended at the beginning of May.

June 26, 2019

Oil Price Rose 2.4% As U.S. Oil Inventories Fell by 12.8 Million Barrels

Today oil price of West Texas Intermediate and Brent surged 3.3% and 2.4% respectively after the Energy Information Administration report said that the U.S. oil inventory fell by 12.8 million barrels last week, the largest decrease since September 2016.

June 26, 2019

Saudi Aramco Signs 12 Agreements with South Korean Companies

During a visit of the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman to South Korea, Aramco signed 12 new agreements with Korean companies on refining, oil sales, petrochemicals, and other industrial projects.

June 25, 2019

Iran’s Oil Exports in June Drop to 300,000 bpd

Industry sources and tanker data show that Iran’s oil exports in June 2019 have dropped to 300,000 bpd from 400,000-500,000 bpd in May 2019, a fraction of Iran’s 2.5 million bpd of oil exports from May 2018 prior to U.S. sanctions.

June 25, 2019

Platts Analytics: LNG Prices Could Double if Hormuz Strait is Disrupted

In its latest Global LNG Monthly Forecast, S&P Global Platts Analytics projected a 100% increase of LNG prices if Qatar LNG exports through Hormuz Strait is blocked.

The report said the closure of the Strait, Qatar’s only route to export LNG, will remove Qatar’s 280 million cu m/d, which makes 22% of the world’s demand.

June 19, 2019

OPEC and OPEC+ to Meet in July 1 & 2

OPEC has announced on its website that its June meeting was pushed to July 1st, and the following day will be for the OPEC+ meeting in which oil producers are expected to discuss the extension of the production cut policy.

June 14, 2019

ExxonMobil and Saudi SABIC to Build Petrochemical Project in Texas

Saudi Arabia’s petrochemical company SABIC and U.S. oil and gas corporation ExxonMobil agreed to proceed with the construction of a chemical facility and a 1.8 million metric ton ethane steam cracker in San Patricio County, Texas.

The project will create 6,000 jobs during construction and 600 permanent jobs. The economic output will exceed $50 billion during first six years.

June 12, 2019

Brent Drops 3.7% to Reach $59.96 As U.S. Inventories Rose by 2.2 Million Barrels

Today Brent dropped by 3.7% to reach $59.96. The sharp drop was linked to data released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration which showed U.S. oil inventories increased by 2.2 million barrels in the week through June 7.

This price is 20% lower than the highest price reached in April and comes at a time when there are concerns that the ongoing U.S.-China trade war is weakening oil demands.

June 12, 2019

BP Raises Estimates of Saudi Arabia’s Oil Reserves by 30 Billion Barrels

In a recent annual statistic report, BP raised oil reserve estimates for Saudi Arabia by 11% (30 billion barrels) to reach 297.7 billion barrels from 266.2 billion a year earlier. The new figure puts Saudi Arabia 6 billion barrels behind Venezuela which has the world’s largest oil reserve estimates.

The estimation increase happened as Saudi Arabia separated the estimations of oil, gas and natural gas reporting.

June 10, 2019

Saudi Aramco Announces Plans to Invest in Russia’s LNG Sector

During his visit to Russia, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said his country has made an offer to join Russian Novatek’s Arctic LNG 2 project.

Al-Falih also said that Riyadh is studying the possibility of future investments in Rosneft and Gazprom’s LNG projects, plus Russia’s Sibur petrochemical company.

June 10, 2019

Iran Has No Plans to Leave OPEC

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh told the Iranian parliament news site ICANA that his country has no plans to leave OPEC despite his belief that Iran is treated like an enemy by Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

The minister regretted that OPEC has “turned into a political forum” and that some OPEC members “use oil as a weapon against us [Iran] in the global market and world.”

June 7, 2019

IEA: Natural Gas Demand to Increase by 10% until 2024

The International Energy Agency said demand for natural gas grew 4.6% in 2018, the fastest annual growth in 10 years, and it is expected to increase by 10% until 2024 when it will reach more than 4.3 trillion cubic meters.

IEA said China will account for 40% of this increased demand as it shifts from coal and oil to cleaner energy sources. This increase is also expected in India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.

June 6, 2019

Putin Says Moscow Differs with OPEC on Fair Price

Two weeks before OPEC+ group meeting, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow differs with OPEC’s members on what constitutes a fair oil price. He said a $60-$65 per barrel suites Moscow, while OPEC’s de facto leader Saudi Arabia seeks a higher price.

June 6, 2019

Iraq Supports the Extension of OPEC’s Oil Production Cuts

Iraqi Oil Minister Thamer Ghadhban said his country supports the extension of OPEC’s oil production cut policy set to expire this month. The minister said the policy proved its effectiveness in stabilizing the oil market. The minister added that more measures should be taken considering recent developments in the market.

June 5, 2019

Saudi Aramco and UAE’s ADNOC to Open Oil Trading Office in Fujairah Port

Saudi Arabia’s Aramco and the UAE’s ADNOC announced this week about the establishment of oil trading offices in UAE’s eastern Al-Fujairah port. Both companies aim to gain more access to the market in the world’s second largest bunkering hub, mainly as the port is increasing its storage capacity.

June 3, 2019

Iraq Awards Hyundai a Deal to Construct Seawater Injection Facility

The director of Iraq’s state-run Basra Oil Company said Baghdad has awarded Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co Ltd a deal for the construction of a seawater injection facility with an estimated cost of $2.4 billion.

The project is set to be completed in four years, and is vital to the planned increase of Iraq’s oil production

June 3, 2019

OPEC+ Deal For the Second Half of 2019 is Emerging

Saudi Energy Minister said a consensus among the OPEC+ group is emerging, and aims to ensure stability in the oil market.

Al-Falih said “We will do what is needed to sustain market stability beyond June. To me, that means drawing down inventories from their currently elevated levels,”

June 3, 2019

Britain’s INEOS to Build Three Petrochemical Plants in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Aramco and France Total have signed an MoU with Britain’s INEOS to build three petrochemical plants in Saudi Arabia as part of the Jubail 2 complex with an estimated cost of $2 billion.

The three plants are expected to produce key building blocks for carbon fiber, engineering polymers and synthetic lubricants that are essential to economic growth in the region.

June 2, 2019

Bahrain will Allow Foreign Investors to Own 100% Stakes of Oil & LNG Extraction Projects

On Sunday, the Bahraini Prime Minister issued an order allowing foreign companies to own 100% of oil and natural gas extraction projects.

May 31, 2019
May 31, 2019

OPEC’s May Production Drops

Reuters survey showed that OPEC’s 14 members have pumped 30.17 million bpd in May, 60,000 bpd less than April and the lowest in four years.

The survey suggests that Saudi Arabia has pumped oil more than the previous month, yet it was less than its quota in the OPEC-led production cut deal and not enough to compensate for the loss of Iranian oil exports.

May 30, 2019

Russia Considers the Extension of Oil Production Cut Policy

Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Anton Siluanov said Moscow will carefully consider the extension of oil production cut policy agreed with OPEC last December.

Siluanov said Russia will weigh the benefits of the extension on oil prices mainly as the U.S. shale oil production increase has gained new markets.

May 29, 2019

Reuters: Iran’s May Oil Exports Drop to 400,000 bpd

Reuters report cited tanker data and industry sources that showed a drop in Iran’s oil exports in May to 400,000 bpd.

Oil exports have dropped from at least 2.5 million bpd in April 2018 as a result of U.S. sanctions on Tehran.

There is no definitive data about Iran’s oil exports since Iran stopped reporting its production figures to OPEC.

May 28, 2019

Kuwaiti Oil Minister Expects Market to Balance

Kuwait oil minister told Reuters that he is expecting to see a balance in oil market by the end of 2019 as global inventories fall and demand remains strong.

The Kuwaiti minister explained that oil demand growth faces uncertainty as a result of the U.S.-China trade dispute, and at the same time, U.S. oil production continues to rise.

May 24, 2019

Iran’s Oil Storage is Growing

Reuters report says Iran’s storage of oil is increasing as Tehran continues to pump oil even as exports are expected to continue dropping.

It is important for Iran to keep pumping oil from its aging fields since disruption could damage future production and because the high the costs of resuming production if it should come to a stop.

May 24, 2019

India Ends All Oil Imports from Iran

The Indian Ambassador the U.S. Harsh Vardhan Shringla said his country has ended all oil imports from Iran after the expiration of waivers on May 2.

The Indian diplomat explained that the sanctions did hurt New Delhi as it used to import 10% of its oil supplies from Iran.

May 22, 2019

Saudi Aramco Makes its First Direct Investment in U.S. LNG Sector

Aramco has made an agreement to buy LNG from the Port Arthur LNG export project developed by San Diego-based Sempra Energy.

The deal includes the purchase of 5 million tons of LNG per year and a 25% equity stake in the first phase of the multibillion-dollar project.

May 22, 2019

Iraq to Increase Oil Production from West Qurna 1 Oilfield

A senior Iraqi oil official announced a decision to increase oil production from West Qurna 1 Oilfield from 440,000 to 490,000 bpd. The oilfield is developed and operated by ExxonMobil.

May 21, 2019

Turkey is Compliant with U.S. Sanctions on Iranian Oil Exports

A Reuters report found that Turkey has complied with the U.S. sanctions by closing its ports to Iranian oil.

Earlier this month, the U.S. did not extend its sanctions waivers for Turkey and other nations to continue buying oil from Iran. The U.S. decision faced major criticism from Ankara.

May 20, 2019

Bahrain’s Bapco to Expand Its Refining Capacity

State-run oil company Bahrain Petroleum Co (Bapco) has completed financing its refining capacity expansion plans. Expansion is expected to be completed by 2022 and will increase the company’s refining capacity from 267,000 bpd to 380,000 bpd.

According to Reuters, the financing has exceeded $4 billion and is to include five export credit agencies and a syndicate of 21 commercial banks.

May 20, 2019

OPEC+ Group Meets in Saudi Arabia

Last weekend OPEC, Russia, and other oil producers met in Saudi Arabia to discuss the current supply of the oil market. Major oil producers did not make a decision about current production cuts and decided to leave the decision to their upcoming meeting in June.

The Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said oil producers agreed to gradually lower oil inventories to normal levels.

May 17, 2019

Aramco to Supply India with Oil to Compensate for Lost Iranian Oil

Saudi Arabia will increase its supply to the Indian Oil Corp by two million barrels per month between this upcoming July and December to compensate for the lost oil exports from Iran.

Aramco has an agreement with the Indian Oil Corp to export 5.6 million tons of oil for the financial year 2019/20 that started on April 1st.

May 15, 2019

Saudi Arabia Resumes Oil Pumping Via Its East-West Pipeline

Today Saudi Arabia resumed pumping oil via its East-West pipeline one day after it shut it down as a result of drone attacks on two pumping stations. The pipeline transports oil from the Eastern Province to Yanbu port.

May 14, 2019

Oil Price Rise After Attack on Oil Infrastructure in Saudi Arabia

Oil prices rose today after reports of drone attacks by Yemen’s Houthis on two oil pumping stations in Saudi Arabia. Brent barrel increased by 1.3% to reach $71.14, and West Texas reached $61.67 per barrel, a 1.03% increase.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih confirmed that the fire was contained and oil production was not interrupted as a result of the attack.

May 9, 2019

Saudi Arabia to Meet All Orders From Former Buyers of Iranian Oil

Bloomberg report said Saudi Arabia is willing to meet all oil orders it received for June including from countries that stopped buying Iranian oil as a result of U.S. sanctions.

The report expected that Saudi oil exports for June will remain below 7 million bpd, well under the 10.311 million bpd quota agreed to by Riyadh in the production-cut agreement between OPEC and its allies.

May 7, 2019

Asian Economies Buy More Oil from Saudi Arabia at a Higher Price

Bloomberg Report talked about an increase in oil supply and price from Saudi Arabia to Asian countries while these states are looking for a replacement of Iranian oil ousted from the market as a result of discontinued sanctions waivers.

The price of Arab Medium crude was set at the highest in more than four years, while Arab Heavy was set at the highest price in more than six years.

May 7, 2019

Iraq is Close to Making a $53 Billion Deal with ExxonMobil & PetroChina

Iraqi Prime Minister said his country is close to finalizing a $53 billion deal with ExxonMobil and PetroChina to develop the Nahr Bin Umar and Artawi oilfields and raise their production from 125,000 to 500,000 bpd.

The development of the two fields is expected to make $400 billion over the 30 years the deal will be in effect.

May 6, 2019

Oman’s 2018 LNG Revenues Increased by 60%

The 2018 annual report of Oman Liquefied Natural Gas Company showed that the company’s total revenues increased by 60% to reach $3.50 billion, a sharp increase from $2.19 billion in 2017. Meanwhile, its net income increased by 68% to $1.79 billion in 2018, from $642 million in 2017.

The report showed that Oman’s LNG production rate hit 10.4 million tons in 2018, up from 8.60 million tons in 2017. The jump in profit is attributed to increased production and price.

May 3, 2019

Iran’s Oil Minister Warns OPEC is “likely to collapse”

After his meeting with OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo in Tehran yesterday, the Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh said “OPEC is being threatened due to unilateralism by certain members and this organization is likely to collapse,”

Last Thursday the U.S. announced it was ending sanctions waivers for Iran’s top oil buyers, while President Trump said that the UAE and Saudi Arabia (both OPEC members) will increase oil production to cover any gap in global oil supply expected after ending Iran sanctions waivers.

April 30, 2019
April 30, 2019

OPEC Oil Supply in April Hits A Four-Year Low

Reuters survey found that April’s oil production from OPEC members was at 30.23 million bpd, 90,000 lower than March and is the lowest since 2015.

The four-year low oil supply is linked to production cut policy and the drop of exports from Iran and Venezuela as a result of U.S. sanctions.

The survey found that 11 of the 14 members achieved 132% of pledged cuts compared to 145% in March. Meanwhile, the involuntary production drop from Iran and Venezuela hit 150,000 bpd and 100,000 bpd respectively.

 

April 24, 2019

Global Spare Oil Production Capacity Increased to 3.3 Million b/d

In a statement by the International Energy Agency (IEA), the organization said oil markets are adequately supplied and “global spare production capacity remains at comfortable levels.”

IEA estimated the global spare production capacity to be at 3.3 million bpd (2.2 million from Saudi Arabia and 1 million from the UAE, Iraq, and Kuwait). The statement linked the increase of spare production capacity to the oil producers’ high compliance with the production cut agreement in the OPEC+ group.

April 23, 2019

Gulf States’ OPEC Members Are Ready to Increase Production

OPEC and oil industry sources said that Arab Gulf OPEC members are ready to increase production if there is a shortage in oil supply. This comes one day after the Trump Administration decided to not renew waivers for Iranian oil importers.

Reuters sources said that Saudi oil production for May is not expected to be much higher than April, while Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said that Riyadh will coordinate with other oil exporters to ensure adequate oil supplies to the market. Other sources in OPEC clarified that in order to increase output “There must be actual impact on the market and a real demand from customers,”

April 22, 2019

Trump Will Not Renew Iran Sanction Waivers

The White House said today in a statement that President Donald Trump will not renew Iran sanction waivers with intentions to bring Iran’s oil exports to zero. The statement said that the U.S., along with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will ensure that oil markets are adequately supplied.

Oil prices rose to $73.87 a barrel on Sunday and Monday with reports that the waivers will not be extended.

April 19, 2019

Saudi Arabia Expects Oil Market to Balance in 2019

An official in the Saudi Energy Ministry expects the oil market to balance this year as a result of the oil production cut policy agreed between OPEC and its allies. Also, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reports in Moscow that Russia has been committed to the production cut policy.

April 17, 2019

India Looks for Replacement for Iranian Oil

Prior to the expiration of U.S. waivers to buy oil from Iran, officials from India’s state-owned refineries told Reuters they are confident of securing oil imports from the U.S., Mexico, Saudi Arabia or Iraq.

The four refineries did not place oil supply orders with Iran for May, while last year several refineries signed agreements with Baghdad to import Iraqi oil during 2019.

April 16, 2019

Oil Price Dropped and U.S. Oil Stockpiles Are Up

Oil price dropped slightly today after comments from Russia raised concerns about the renewal of the oil cuts agreed to by Russia and OPEC. Also, as analysts expected the U.S. oil stockpiles have increased by 1.9 million barrels last week, the fourth straight increase.
OPEC is set to meet in June to discuss the extension of the production cuts agreement to the end of 2019. In previous comments from officials in OPEC member-states, the cuts will be decided based on the status of oversupply in oil markets.

April 15, 2019

Investors Are Avoiding Iranian Oil

Bloomberg report said Tehran has offered investors as much as 6 million oil barrels in 2019 and only one deal was closed for the minimum of 35,000 barrels. This week Iran has offered another million barrels of light crude for a 6% down payment and 90 days of credit.

Iranian oil exports have significantly dropped since the U.S. reinstated sanctions in 2018. Deputy head of the Iranian Association for Energy Economics, Morteza Behrouzifar said: “Iran’s crude is sanctioned and under no circumstances can anyone buy Iranian crude except those who were granted waivers.”

April 11, 2019

OPEC May Raise Oil Production from July

Reuters report said OPEC might increase oil production starting from July if Iran and Venezuela oil production drops and prices increase.

Last month Venezuela’s oil production dropped to 1 million bpd, and it is expected that Iran’s oil exports will further drop in May.

OPEC is expected to meet on June 25-26 to decide whether or not to extend the oil cuts or not.

April 9, 2019

Saudi Aramco Issues $12 Billion in Bonds

Saudi Arabia issued $12 billion of bonds for its state-run oil company Aramco. The demand for Saudi Aramco’s debut offering was so robust it allowed the company to borrow at a lower yield than its sovereign parent. The high demand to buy Aramco’s debt has also helped to lower the borrowing costs for Riyadh.

The bond sale was managed by JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., HSBC Holdings Plc, and NCB Capital Co.

April 9, 2019

Oman Awards French Total Block 12 Exploration Rights

The Omani government awarded France Total 100% exploration and operatorship rights in onshore Block 12. The Block is spread over an area of 3860 square miles and believed to have significant gas resources.

Prior to that, Total, Oman’s Ministry of Oil and Gas and Oman Oil Company reached an agreement to execute their integrated gas project to develop gas resources in the Greater Barik area in Blocks 10 and 11. In 2018, Total’s oil production in Oman was 38,000 bpd.

April 8, 2019

Saudi Energy Minister Says OPEC and non-OPEC to Make a Decision on Oil Cuts Extension in May

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said OPEC and non-OPEC members will meet next month to make a decision about the extension of oil cuts.

The meeting -also known as JMMC- will include major oil producers such as Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Nigeria, and Kazakhstan.

About the possibility of Saudi Arabia making more output cuts, the Saudi minister said “I don’t think we will need (to do more) … the market is on its way toward balance. We have done a lot more than others,”

April 2, 2019

Saudi Arabia Threatens to Stop Oil Trade in USD if NOPEC Passes

Reuters report said that Riyadh is threatening to use currencies other than U.S. dollar in its oil sales if NOPEC passes. The bill would expose OPEC member-states to antitrust lawsuits. The report mentioned that Riyadh has discussed the matter with other OPEC members, and communicated the threat to American officials.

April 2, 2019

Saudi Arabia’s Largest Oil Field Produces Less Than Expected

An Aramco report released yesterday revealed the real production capacity of the Saudi Ghawar oil field, the world’s largest at 3.8 million bpd, well below the 5 million bpd widely known in the oil market.

Ghawar’s production capacity suggested in the report is 33% less than the U.S. government estimations in 2017 when the U.S. Energy Information Administration listed Ghawar’s production capacity at 5.8 million bpd. Also, the new figure puts the U.S. Permian oil production basin as the largest world’s producer since it pumped 4.1 million bpd in March.

April 1, 2019

Survey Shows OPEC Oil Production Reached Four-Year low

According to Reuters survey, OPEC oil production during March reached a record low in four years due to Saudi Arabia’s production cuts and Venezuela’s sanctions and power outages.

The survey showed that OPEC member-states produced in March 30.40 million bpd, 280,000 less than February production. Also, last month 11 of the 14 OPEC member-states achieved 135% of the pledged cuts, 34% more than February. The biggest cuts came from Riyadh which produced 220,000 bpd less than February.

March 29, 2019

Japanese Refineries Halt Oil Imports from Iran

According to industry sources and data on Refinitiv Eikon, Japanese Refineries halted imports of Iranian oil ahead of the expiry of a temporary waiver on U.S. sanctions. The waiver expires in early May, however, Japanese refineries want to ensure enough time for all cargoes to arrive to Japan and payment to be completed.

As its imports of Iranian oil fell, Japan has increased imports from other Gulf states, in addition to Russia and the Americas.

March 27, 2019

Aramco Buys Majority Stakes in Sabic

Aramco reached a deal to buy majority stake in petrochemicals firm Sabic from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund. In the deal Aramco will buy 70% stake in Sabic held by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund for $69.1 billion in a share purchase agreement.

The purchase is a major step for Aramco’s efforts to expand its footprint in refining and petrochemicals.

Public Investment Fund Managing Director described the deal as “a win-win-win transaction and a transformational deal for three of Saudi Arabia’s most important economic entities.”

March 26, 2019

Bahrain LNG Terminal Begins Operations in May

Bahrain’s LNG terminal within the Khalifa bin Salman Port facility in Hidd will starts commercial operations in May. The first LNG shipment will mostly be imported from the UAE’s Abu Dhabi National Oil Company.

Bahrain’s National Oil and Gas Authority Chief Executive Jassem al Shirawi said his country made agreements with more than 25  companies and countries to import LNG from around the world.

March 20, 2019

The U.S. is about to Claim Saudi Arabia’s Energy Exporting Crown

Rystad Energy research firm expects U.S. to surpass Saudi Arabia’s title as world’s largest exporter of oil, natural gas liquids and petroleum products.

Over the past decade, drilling innovation has increased shale oil production, and overall oil production in the U.S. has more than doubled in the last decade, which made the U.S. the world’s largest oil producer surpassing Saudi Arabia and Russia.

Saudi Arabia’s daily exports of oil, gas, and petrochemical liquids are 9 million barrels, exceeding the U.S. by one million barrel, a gap that will probably vanish according to Rystad experts.

March 20, 2019

Morgan Stanley Sees Oil Prices Rising to $75

Morgan Stanley sees oil prices rising to $75 by the third quarter of 2019. Analysts at the American banking and investment company are more convinced now that OPEC is able to drain oversupply in the oil market since it has extended its production cuts and could possibly increase them.

The analysts also linked their forecast to the deteriorated situation in Venezuela which could affect the country’s oil production.

March 19, 2019

Oman Awards Ibri II Solar Independent Power Project

A joint Saudi Kuwaiti companies consortium won a $400 million bid to develop the Ibri II Solar Independent Power Project for the Oman Power and Water Procurement Company.

The project has a generation capacity of 500 MW and will supply 33,000 homes with electricity which will offset 340,000 tones of carbon dioxide emissions a year.

March 19, 2019

OPEC Cancels April Meeting

OPEC members decided to cancel their meeting planned for April, leaving the current production cuts in place until the group’s usual meeting in June.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said OPEC expects the oil market to remain oversupplied until June, and the delay will allow the group to assess U.S. sanctions’ impacts on Iran and Venezuela oil production.

March 17, 2019

Iran Inaugurates Four New Phases of the South Pars Gas Field

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani inaugurated four new phases of the South Pars gas field. The field is the world’s largest gas field and it is shared with Qatar.

Iran has invested $11 billion to complete the new phases and it will increase its gas production capacity by 110 million cubic meters per day.

Oil minister expects gas production from the South Pars field to reach 750 million cubic meters per day by the end of this year.

March 15, 2019

Venezuela Oil Production Could Drop; Would Saudi Arabia Increase its Output?

The International Energy Agency warns that power failure in Venezuela could disrupt oil supplies, which raises expectations of Saudi Arabia’s intervention to balance the market and cover any supply shortages, mainly because Riyadh made the highest production cuts among OPEC members in the recent OPEC production agreement.

March 14, 2019

Iraq’s Oil Exports to Drop to 3.5 Million bpd in March

Iraqi oil minister said his country is planning to drop oil exports in March to 3.5 million bpd in compliance with Iraq’s quota decided by OPEC last January.

Iraq is OPEC’s second largest producer, and its new exports target is 100,000 bpd lower than Jan and Feb exports.

OPEC members will meet in Vienna next month to discuss extending production cuts till end of 2019.

March 14, 2019

India’s Oil Imports from Iran Drop 60% from Last Year

India’s oil imports from Iran dropped to 260,000 bpd in February 2019; 60% lower than February 2018.

Iran was the third oil supplier to India in February 2018, while now it is ranked the eighth.

The sanctions waivers provided by the U.S. to India allows New Delhi to import up to 300,000 bpd from Iran until May 2019.

March 12, 2019

Iran to Launch Four Development Phases At South Pars Gas Field

Iranian oil minister says his country will launch four new phases in the South Pars gas field with a production capacity 110 million cubic meters per day.

The field is the world’s largest gas field and it is shared between Iran and Qatar. Last month, Iran’s production capacity reached 610 million cubic meters per day.

Last year both French Total and China National Petroleum Corp ended the investment in the field as the U.S. re-imposed sanctions on Tehran.

March 11, 2019

Saudi Arabia to Cut Oil Production and Exports for April

Saudi official source said Riyadh’s oil exports on April will be 7 million bpd while demands are at 7.6 million bpd.

The new exports target will keep production well below 10 million bpd, also below Riyadh’s 10.3 million bpd production quota agreed with OPEC members.

The decision shows Saudi Arabia’s determination to regain control over oil prices.

March 8, 2019

United States to become World’s Leading Oil Exporter in 2019

CNN reports says the US will surpass Saudi Arabia in 2019 in the exports of oil and petroleum products to become the world’s leading exporter of oil.

This breakthrough is mainly attributed to technology which changed the landscape of energy market.

March 7, 2019

Saudi Arabia Discovers Large Quantities of Gas in the Red Sea

On March 7, 2019, the Saudi Minister of Energy Khalid Al-Faleh said his country has discovered large quantities of gas in the Red Sea.

The minister also reiterated Saudi Arabia’s Aramco plans to invest in the U.S. LNG sector.

March 4, 2019

Current OPEC’s Oil Production Cuts to be Extended Until June

According to Reuters, OPEC and its OPEC+ partners will likely extend the current oil production policy until June, instead of making a new decision during the upcoming meeting in April.

Last month supplies from OPEC members fell to lowest in four years, and today oil price went up 1% in light of reports about a possible agreement between China and the U.S. to end the “trade war”

February 28, 2019

Qatar Petroleum and ExxonMobil Discover Natural Gas Field in the Mediterranean

Qatar Petroleum and ExxonMobil announced discovering the world’s third largest natural gas field found in the last two years which approximately contains 5 to 8 trillion cubic feet.

The field was found off the coast of Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean. State-owned Qatar Petroleum and ExxonMobil won in 2017 the rights to explore the area for gas and oil.

February 27, 2019

Saudi Oil Exports to U.S. Gulf Refineries Down by Half

According to U.S. Customs data, Saudi oil shipments to U.S. Gulf refineries reached 2.69 million barrel in January and 1.6 million in February comparing to 5.75 million last year.

Total Saudi oil exports to the U.S. fell in the third week of February to 346,000 bpd, the lowest in almost nine years.

An expert expected West Coast refineries to continue importing Saudi oil due to limited supply options.

February 26, 2019

Bahrain Discusses with U.S. Oil Companies Developing Recently Discovered Fields

Last April Bahrain discovered its biggest oilfield since the 1930s with estimation to contain 80 billion barrels of tight oil.

Yesterday, Bahraini oil minister said Manama is considering the development of the oilfield by American companies with shale oil expertise.

February 26, 2019

Saudi Arabia Plans Major Investments in LNG

Saudi Arabia announces plans to become a major player in the growing natural gas industry and looking to make investments in Russia, Australia, the U.S., and Africa.

Saudi Aramco Chief Executive said: “Gas is a major market and we want to be one of the largest players,”

Riyadh is planning to increase its LNG export to 3 billion cubic feet per day by 2030, and replace the 800,000 oil barrels used daily to generate electricity with LNG.

 

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