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Oil rises 1% on settlement amid fears of supply shortages

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Economy News Baghdad

OPEC said on Tuesday that the price of the OPEC basket daily record $ 70 per barrel.

The Organization said in a statement read by the "economy News", "The price of OPEC basket of fourteen barrels of crude recorded 70.27 dollars per barrel."

"The price fell from the previous day of $ 69.47, according to the calculations of the OPEC secretariat," it added.

Views 2   Date Added 21/08/2018

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Iraq's southern oil exports head for record high in August: sources




LONDON (Reuters) - Oil exports from southern Iraq are on course to hit another record high this month, two industry sources said, adding to signs that OPEC’s second-largest producer is following through on the group’s agreement to raise output.

FILE PHOTO: Workers are seen at the Zubair oilfield in Basra, Iraq May 9, 2018. REUTERS/Essam al-Sudani/File Photo

Southern Iraqi exports in the first 19 days of August averaged 3.7 million barrels per day, according to ship-tracking data compiled by an industry source, up 160,000 bpd from July’s 3.54 million bpd - the existing monthly record.

The increase follows June’s pact among OPEC and allied oil producers to boost supply after they had curbed output since 2017 to remove a glut. Iraq in July provided the largest increase among OPEC members that took part in the previous cuts.

“We are seeing volumes run at another record so far in the month,” the industry source said on Tuesday.

A second industry source who tracks shipments said exports this month had averaged at least 3.6 million bpd, reflecting smooth operations at export terminals and a lack of developments such as bad weather that can curb shipments.

“It’s just business as usual,” the source said. “There are no major storms, winds or anything.”

Other sources say exports from Iraq’s south, the outlet for most of its crude, are higher this month. Two oil executives quoted on Aug. 16 said such shipments had averaged 3.6 million bpd in August.

Before the June OPEC deal, Iraq had been boosting exports from southern terminals to offset a halt in shipments from the northern Kirkuk region last October after Iraqi forces seized control of oilfields there from Kurdish fighters.

Northern exports have also increased in August, averaging about 350,000 bpd so far, according to shipping data, up from about 300,000 bpd in July. That is still far below levels of more than 500,000 bpd in some months of 2017.

On June 22-23, OPEC, Russia and other non-members agreed to return to 100 percent compliance with output cuts that began in January 2017. That amounted to an increase of about 1 million bpd, according to OPEC’s de facto leader, Saudi Arabia.

Iraq told the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries that it boosted production by 100,000 bpd month-on-month in July, while Saudi Arabia cut back.

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Texas Exports More Oil Than It Imports For First Time Ever

By Irina Slav - Aug 21, 2018, 9:30 AM CDT Oil tanker

The Texas Gulf Coast oil terminals sent abroad more crude than they received in April, the Energy Information Administration said this week. During that month, crude oil exports from the Houston-Galveston port district exceeded imports by 15,000 bpd. Over the next month, the advantage of exports over imports welled further, to an impressive 470,000 bpd.

Total U.S. oil exports in may hit a record of 2 million bpd, with Houston-Galveston’s share of the total at a record-breaking 70 percent, from an average of about 50 percent since the middle of 2017, the EIA said.

The bulk of crude oil exports from the Houston-Galveston area went to China, Canada, Italy, and the UK, with exports to China averaging 300,000 bpd in both June and July. This month, however, not a single crude oil cargo has been loaded for China, according to media reports, amid growing trade tensions between Washington and Beijing.

Meanwhile, however, Texas is on track to become the biggest oil producer after Russia and Saudi Arabia, according to production estimates by HSBC, quoted by CNN. If the estimates turn out to be correct, the Lone Star State will be pumping almost 6 million bpd in 2019.


RBC goes further, expecting production in Texas to boom to more than 6.5 million barrels daily over the next seven to ten years. Not everyone is so optimistic, however. Skeptics believe the shale oil boom in Texas led by the Permian Basin, will peak at much lower levels than 6 million bpd, not least because of the substantial debt loads of many shale drillers in the area.

Until this happens, oil production in the state is growing: over the 12 months to June it added 27 percent to 4.3 million bpd, according to the latest report from the Texas Alliance of Energy producers. This represented 40 percent of the U.S. total for that month.

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US oil production reverts to the highest level in its history

US oil production reverts to the highest level in its history

22 August 2018 08:29 PM
Direct : US oil production rose for the second week in a row, returning to reach the highest level ever.

US oil production averaged 11 million barrels per day (bpd) in the week ending Aug. 17 compared to 10.90 million barrels in the previous week, data from the US Energy Information Administration showed Wednesday.

US oil exports fell last week to 1.155 million barrels per day, compared with 1.592 million bpd in the previous week.

US crude imports also fell 1.496 million barrels per day to 7.518 million bpd.

The oil stocks in the United States fell during the week elapsed by about more than analysts ' expectations of 5.8 million barrels.

By 5:10 pm GMT, the price of Brent crude for October delivery rose 2.7% to $ 74.63 a barrel.

During the same period, US crude futures for November delivery rose more than 3% to $ 67.86 a barrel.

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Rising oil revenues boost GCC growth





  • Ⅶ Dubai - Sayed Saleh
Date: 23 August 2018

LONDON (Reuters) - Economic growth in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will continue to gain momentum in the coming period as oil revenues rise between 3 and 5 percent after adjusting for a production agreement between OPEC member states, a report by British research firm Capital Economics said.

"We believe that rising oil revenues could boost GDP growth in the region by between 2 and 2.5 per cent over the coming period," said William Jackson, chief economist and emerging markets specialist at Capital Economics. "This will speed up the pace In the next few months regarding the recovery of the economies of the region from the fallout of the decline of oil in recent years ».

The first half saw a remarkable recovery in the UAE economy, the report said.

"In July, UAE oil revenues rose 1.3 percent compared to July 2017, and revenues rose compared with June, which saw the country's oil production fall 0.9 percent from June 2017," William said.

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  • yota691 changed the title to Brent crude is above $ 75 a barrel



October crude oil futures for Brent crude rose 0.41 percent to $ 75.04 a barrel for the first time since July 31, according to trade data.
On Thursday, oil prices rose slightly as traders awaited US sanctions on Iran in November, and they continue to analyze statistics on raw material reserves in the United States.
The head of commodity market studies at Swiss private bank Julius Baer, Norbert Rücker, said in his analytical presentation that the US sanctions against Iran would now be the most unforeseen risks for the market.
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Who Is Seizing Iran’s Market Share?

By Matt Smoil tanker

The splendidly-directed movie 'There Will Be Blood' by P.T. Anderson is about the early days of the oil boom.

There is an epic scene between actors Daniel Day Lewis and Paul Dano, in which Daniel Day Lewis says: 'I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE!'.

This is a century-old hat-tip to directional oil drilling, as Daniel Day Lewis' character has used slant drilling to drain an oil reservoir under an adjacent piece of land.

This is a somewhat poignant turn of phrase at the moment, given that Iran is about to have oil sanctions applied on it, and everyone is jostling to drink their milkshake - stealing their market share as their production and exports drop back.


We recently highlighted how Iraq appeared to be muscling in on Iran's market share into Northwest Europe based on our projections, and this is now playing out in delivered barrels. Iran has delivered absolutely nothing-nada-nil into France or the Netherlands this month, when it is typically a regular supplier. Based on our projections, nothing is set to be discharged in the coming weeks.

Iraq, on the other hand, has already delivered over 7 million barrels to these two countries so far in August, higher than any monthly volume in the last year - and we still have a week of the month left to go. Two million barrels of Basrah Light have been discharged in France, hot on the heels of two deliveries totaling 2mn bbls last month - after a six-month absence.


(Click to enlarge)

But Iran isn't having Iraq drinking its milkshake everywhere. If we look at deliveries into Southern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean this month, it is still holding its own versus Iraqi grades. This is a result of record volumes into Italy, as well as flows into Spain and Turkey continuing apace.


(Click to enlarge)

Asia is also shaping up as a key battleground, and Iran is getting trounced in India, given that companies such as Reliance Industries are keen to keep good relations with the United States and halt Iranian imports. (In an interesting twist of fate, deliveries of US grades to India have reached a record so far this month).

According to our ClipperData projections, crude loadings this month bound for India (of which 90 percent has already been delivered) have risen by over 200,000 bpd from Iraq, while dropping by nearly 600,000 bpd from Iran - down by three-quarters on the prior month. 


(Click to enlarge)

But it isn't only India that is seeing a dramatic change in flows - and it isn't only Iraq that has a milkshake craving.

Core OPEC (Saudi, UAE, Kuwait) loadings bound for Asia this month are up over 800,000 bpd versus July, while Iran's loadings are down nearly 700,000 bpd. As Iran's absolute loadings drop, it is having to cede its Asian market share, and other OPEC members are more than happy to suck it up.


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Sinopec To Resume U.S. Oil Imports

By Irina Slav - Aug 24, 2018, 10:00 AM CDT Refinery

The international trading arm of China’s refining major Sinopec, Unipec, will resume U.S. crude oil purchases from October, three sources told Reuters on condition of anonymity. However, it remains unclear exactly how much oil Unipec will buy, how much of it the company will use at its refineries, and how much it will sell on to third parties.

The company had suspended crude oil imports from the United States amid the trade spat between Washington and Beijing in anticipation of crude oil making it onto the tariff list. When this did not happen, Unipec started buying U.S. crude again despite the trade dispute escalation that saw China slap 25-percent tariffs on U.S. oil products and coal.

Sinopec was among the most active lobbyists against tariffs on U.S. crude oil back in June when the topic was discussed by the government. It is also one of the biggest Chinese importers of U.S. crude. Total U.S. shipments to China in the period January-May this year hit 350,000 bpd, according to EIA data, more than United States producers exported to Canada.


There has been much speculation about whether China will at some point slap tariffs on U.S. oil if bilateral relations continue to deteriorate. U.S. oil shipments to China account for just 3 percent of the country’s total imports of the commodity. China, on the other hand, accounted for a fifth of U.S. crude exports in May, according to EIA export data. In other words, U.S. producers depend more on China for their exports than China depends on them for its imports, at least on the face of it.

However, as oil demand remains stable across the world, it would be easier for U.S. producers to find alternative buyers than it would be for Chinese refiners to find alternative suppliers should Beijing decide to add crude oil to its tariff list of U.S. products.


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Iran: Some OPEC members act in accordance with Washington policy

Iran: Some OPEC members act in accordance with Washington policy

 24 August 2018 07:29 PM
Mubasher : The Iranian Oil Minister said that some members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) are acting in accordance with the policies of the United States.

"Some members explain OPEC's decision to increase oil production differently and act according to US policies," Bijan Zanjan told the Iranian news agency Khanai Millat on Friday.

OPEC agreed with Russia and other oil producers in June to cut production cuts to 100 percent from 150 percent in May.

Iran told OPEC this month that no member state should be allowed to compensate for another share of oil exports, expressing concern over a Saudi offer to pump more crude under US sanctions against Tehran.

The United States imposed economic sanctions against Tehran this month, with energy sanctions coming into force in November.

Washington has asked Saudi Arabia and OPEC to pump more crude to offset a possible shortfall in US sanctions against Iran.

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Report: Iraqi-Saudi agreement to increase oil exports puts Iran in an awkward position



BAGHDAD, Aug. 25 (UPI) - Iraq's oil exports to Europe have increased since the beginning of 2018, coinciding with the imposition of sanctions on Iran and the recent drop in exports by about a quarter million barrels per day.

"An Iranian diplomat told OPEC on August 19, 2018 that no OPEC member should be allowed to control the share of another member of oil exports," the London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Arab reported on Saturday. Saudi Arabia has offered to increase its production to cover any shortage of Iranian crude supplies. "

"Data from oil trade flows show that in Europe at least, Saudi Arabia and Iraq have already succeeded in doing so in the past period," the paper said.

"Iranian oil flows to Europe have dropped by 35 percent since the beginning of this year to around 415,000 bpd, while Saudi shipments have doubled, and exports from Iraq have increased by 30 percent," Reuters data showed.

The company said in response to a question about raw materials, which are likely to be an alternative to Iranian crude, it is "Saudi crude, ore Basra and Oral ore." The last two are from Iraq and Russia respectively.

The newspaper pointed out that "Iraq and Saudi Arabia combined to increase their oil production by 245 thousand barrels per day since the beginning of the year, and reduced the official sale price of light materials to customers in Asian countries."

"Iran is the fifth largest oil exporter in the world, but about 1.5 million barrels per day of supplies under the threat of sanctions.And its customers may have to pay generously for possible alternatives. "

Oil is mainly classified according to sulfur content, and its density relative to water, according to the API's density index.

Ores are graded over 35 degrees on the API's Density Index in the Light category, while those between 25 and 35 degrees are considered "medium" and below 25 degrees in the "heavy" category.

Light crude is easier and cheaper to extract and transport, and easier to refine. Heavy materials, which contain more impurities such as sulfur or metals, require additional treatments to extract high-value products.

The sulfur component is the second major indicator of the classification. The sulfur "low" sulfur is less than 0.5 percent sulfur, while the crude "high" sulfur in which the sulfur component exceeds this level. And sulfur from corrosive materials, and refineries that use more high-sulfur raw materials need more intensive maintenance.

"The average density of sulfur in OPEC ores is about 33 degrees," according to the US Petroleum Institute. While in American raw materials it is about 35.7 degrees. Rock oil, the fastest growing crude in the United States, is still the lightest. "

"Light Iranian crude is average sulfur, which means that American rock, despite its availability and low cost, is not an alternative in itself. Most of the refineries around the world are equipped to consume raw materials at 32 degrees on the density index of the American Petroleum Institute, "according to a source in a major European refining company.

"Refineries usually mix different types of materials to get the best fit," she said.

"Raw materials with a higher sulfur content are less affected by price fluctuations. Oil prices have fallen in the current selling market over the second half of 2018. But Russian Oral ore, British Fortis and high sulfur sulfur gyrasol were the best performance around the Atlantic basin. "

"The price losses of these materials have been around 4 percent since the middle of the year, compared to losses of 5 to 6 percent for lighter and low-sulfur materials such as Norwegian ICOFIS or Bonny Light."

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Editorial Date: 2018/8/27 11:29  94 times read
Oil falls under the influence of America and China
(Reuters) - Oil prices fell on Monday on fears that the US-China trade dispute could undermine global economic growth, although US sanctions on Iran's oil sector have prevented crude from further losses, some traders said.
Brent crude futures were $ 75.63 a barrel by 0654 GMT, down 19 cents from the previous close. 
US WTI futures fell 30 cents to $ 68.42 a barrel. 
Traders said trading activity was limited due to a public holiday in Britain. 
Washington is to impose sanctions targeting Iranian oil exports from November. 
OPEC member Iran has exported around 2.5 million bpd of crude oil since the start of the year. Most analysts expect exports to fall below this level by at least 1 million bpd once the sanctions come into effect
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Oil fell to $ 75.63 a barrel due to differences between America and China

11:39 - 27/08/2018


Mawazine News 
Oil prices fell on Monday on fears the US-China trade dispute could undermine global economic growth, although US sanctions on Iran's oil sector have prevented crude from further losses, some traders said. 
Brent crude futures were $ 75.63 a barrel by 0654 GMT, down 19 cents from the previous close. 
US WTI futures fell 30 cents to $ 68.42 a barrel. 
Traders said trading activity was limited due to a public holiday in Britain. 
Washington is to impose sanctions targeting Iranian oil exports from November.
OPEC member Iran has exported around 2.5 million bpd of crude oil since the start of the year. Most analysts expect exports to fall below this level by at least 1 million bpd as soon as the sanctions come into effect

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BEIJING/DUBAI (Reuters) - Iraq’s state oil marketer SOMO is close to a deal with China’s state-run Zhenhua Oil to boost the OPEC member’s crude oil sales to the world’s top oil importer, four sources with knowledge of the matter said. 

Iraq is the second-largest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The move will bolster Iraq’s position in Asia, the world’s biggest and fastest-growing oil-consuming region, which already takes 60 percent its oil exports at some 3.8 million barrels a day (bpd). 

“Zhenhua helped Iraq to penetrate the Chinese market and make more revenues for Iraq,” said a senior source familiar with the discussions on the deal, adding that a 50/50 proposed joint venture could be finalised in October or November. 

Another source said the deal was pending regulatory approvals, giving no further details. 

It is not clear where the JV would be located, but two of the sources familiar with the negotiations said the port city of Tianjin, near Beijing, was under discussion. Singapore is also among the options, they said. 

All four sources declined to be named as they were not authorized to discuss commercial matters with media. 

Zhenhua declined to comment. SOMO did not immediately respond to an email request for comment. 


China is under the pressure to cut oil purchases from Iran, OPEC’s third-largest producer, as the United States re-imposes sanctions on Tehran and threatens to choke off the Islamic republic’s oil exports to zero. 

Amid the trade dispute between Washington and Beijing it is also unclear whether Chinese importers will be able to continue to import U.S. crude. 

The SOMO-Zhenhua deal would give China another crude supply option as the Iran and U.S. oil

flows are threatened

Zhenhua’s relationship with SOMO goes back to former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s days, when China-based parent company defense conglomerate Norinco, was among the first Chinese entities active in Iraq’s oil and gas exploration. 

Last year, Zhenhua won a term contract to supply diesel fuel to SOMO for the first time, and it also recently entered a deal to develop Iraq’s East Baghdad oilfield.

Zhenhua has been marketing Iraq’s main crude grade, Basra Light, for SOMO since the start of 2018 and has also sold some to Taiwan, said a separate Singapore-based trading source. 

Zhenhua, the smallest of China’s state-run oil and gas majors, has over the past three years expanded its foothold in oil sales to independent Chinese refiners, which were only allowed to start importing crude from 2015 and now make up some 20 percent of China’s total crude imports. 

Zhenhua’s crude sales to such independents, sometimes known as “teapots”, hit a record 6.5 million tonnes last year, or 131,000 bpd, equivalent to about 7 percent of overall teapot purchases, according to industry estimates. 

China’s state oil majors Sinopec, CNOOC and PetroChina are regular Iraqi oil customers under term supply deals with SOMO or oilfield service contracts.

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Saudi King made decision after meeting bankers, executives - sources


Reuters 27 Aug 2018, 10:21 AM Saudi Arabia
The king spoke, and a $2 trillion dream went up in smoke.



For the past two years, Saudi Arabia has prepared to place up to 5 percent of its national oil company on the stock market. Officials talked up the Saudi Aramco initial public offering (IPO) with international exchanges, global banks, and U.S. President Donald Trump.

The planned listing was to be the cornerstone of the kingdom’s promised economic overhaul and, at a targeted $100 billion, the biggest IPO ever. It was the brainchild of 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, heir apparent of the world's largest oil exporter.

But after months of setbacks, the international and domestic legs of the IPO were pulled.

The reason: the prince's father King Salman stepped in to shelve it, three sources with ties to government insiders told Reuters.

The decision came after the king met with family members, bankers, and senior oil executives, including a former Aramco CEO, said one of the sources, who requested anonymity. Those consultations took place during Ramadan, which ended in the middle of June.

The king's interlocutors told him that the IPO, far from helping the kingdom, would undermine it. Their main concern was that an IPO would bring full public disclosure of Aramco's financial details, the sources said.

In late June, the king sent a message to his diwan, or administrative office, demanding that the IPO be called off, the three sources said. The king's decision is final, a second source said.

"Whenever he says 'no', there is no budging," the source said.

After Reuters reported last week that the deal had been shelved, Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said the government was committed to conducting the IPO at an unspecified date in the future.

A senior Saudi official referred Reuters to that statement and repeated that the government, Aramco’s shareholder, was working towards an IPO when conditions were right.

"We are surprised that despite this statement, that the Government continues actively to plan for the IPO, Reuters persists in asking questions alleging that plans are halted."

"Aramco’s shareholder is the Government of Saudi Arabia. His Majesty, King Salman, has delegated management of the IPO to His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, and a Committee which includes the Ministers for Energy, Finance, and Economy. Therefore, decisions around the nature and timing of the IPO will be decided by the Committee for the Government’s approval," the official said.

In a country ruled for decades by the Al Saud dynasty, it is not surprising that the king ultimately decides. But the shelving of the Aramco IPO is a major blow to the prince's Vision 2030 reform programme, which aims to fundamentally transform Saudi Arabia's oil-dependent, state-driven economy.

It suggests the king is keeping the new unilateral power of the young prince - accrued soon after his father's accession to the throne in January 2015 - in check.

It also raises doubts about Riyadh's management of the IPO process and commitment to making the economy more transparent, some investors say.


While King Salman has the final say on policy, he has given great authority to his son, who is known as MbS.

After assuming powers as defense minister and chief of the royal court in January 2015, MbS launched a war in Yemen, adopted a more assertive stance towards arch-rival Iran, and implemented a diplomatic and trade boycott of Qatar.

Taking the reins of a powerful new economic council, he set out to tighten state spending, grow the private sector and in foreign investment.

The king also allowed him to push through high-profile social reforms including ending a ban on women driving and opening cinemas in the deeply conservative Muslim country.

MbS entered the line of succession in April 2015, replacing an uncle as deputy crown prince. Two years later, he was elevated to crown prince in a palace coup that removed his cousin Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, the interior minister.

The king has intervened at times.

Most notably, when MbS gave the impression last year that Riyadh endorsed the Trump administration’s still nebulous Middle East peace plan, including U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the king made a public correction.

At the Arab League summit in April, he reaffirmed Riyadh's commitment to the Arab and Muslim identity of Jerusalem following an uproar in the Islamic world.

"The king is obsessed with the idea of how history will judge him. Will he be the king who sold Aramco, who sold Palestine?" the second source said.


It is not clear exactly which of the IPO arguments prompted King Salman to make the decisive call on Aramco.

But industry experts and sources previously told Reuters that preparations had been slowing for months for at least two reasons: scepticism about MbS's public declaration in 2016 that the sale would give the whole company a value of $2 trillion valuations, and concern about the legal risks and tough disclosure requirements associated with a foreign listing.

By April, Aramco stopped paying some of the banks working on the deal their retainer fee, three banking sources told Reuters. This is usually a fixed fee to ensure advisors do not lose out completely if the deal falters. An Aramco official declined to comment.

Then, while the king was deliberating, in mid-June, the banks, including JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley, were invited to pitch for something different.

They were instead asked to present proposals for Aramco's acquisition of a stake in petrochemicals giant SABIC from the sovereign wealth fund PIF, a banking source said.

That was an initial sign that plans for the listing were stalling and that Riyadh was looking to raise funds elsewhere, the banking sources said.

The senior Saudi official said that Aramco's interest in acquiring a stake in SABIC was in line with its objective of being the world's leading energy and integrated chemicals business, and did not alter the government's intent to list Aramco.

"Transferring SABIC’s ownership from the PIF to Saudi Aramco will enable PIF to boost strategies and governance and enhance PIF’s investment portfolio," the official said.

"Such a strategic acquisition would necessarily have an impact on the timeline, but not the intent, of an IPO (of Aramco)."

Spokeswomen for JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley declined to comment on whether their banks have any role in the SABIC deal.


Saudi Arabia can still generate cash from alternative sources and move ahead with other reforms. But MbS had promised the listing would help create a culture of openness in the secretive kingdom.

As well as raising concerns about that commitment to transparency, the shelved IPO contributes to a sense of unpredictability after scores of top royals, ministers and businessmen were rounded up in an anti-corruption campaign last November.

The sources said that even though the king's decision was a blow to the prince's agenda, he is still the favorite son and heir with a major influence on policy.

Rather, they say, it suggests the king wants to show that he will be the deciding voice for the foreseeable future.

"I’m not sure that I would see it as an undermining of the rule of the crown prince. It’s much more likely ensuring that he doesn’t go off the deep end," said James Dorsey, a senior fellow at Singapore's S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS).

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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  • yota691 changed the title to Oil rises 1% on settlement amid fears of supply shortages
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      Before the meeting, Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister and then-acting Oil Minister, Ali Allawi, vowed that his country would further reduce production as it remains committed to the OPEC+ pact.
      At the video news conference following the OPEC+ meeting, Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, emphatically said on Monday that “We have no room whatsoever for lack of conformity.”
      Today, Iraq’s new Oil Minister, Ihsan Abdul Jabbar Ismaael, confirmed in a phone call with his Saudi counterpart Iraq’s “full commitment” to the cuts, OPEC said in a press release on Tuesday. Iraq confirms “its commitment to the voluntary oil production adjustments of June and July 2020, as well as the voluntary adjustments for the period following the end of July, despite the economic and financial challenges,” Ismaael told the Saudi energy minister.
      By Tsvetana Paraskova for
    • By Adam Montana
      OPEC deal important for oil market stability: Iraqi PM
      By Mohammed Rwanduzy 2 hours ago Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi addresses reporters during his weekly press conference in Baghdad on July 2, 2019. Photo: Iraqi PMO video ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Iraq’s premier praised the OPEC deal to on Tuesday staying oil production cuts for nine more months because it is important for market stability as Baghdad is so heavily dependent on oil revenue. 

      “This is important for market stability. This topic, for us, the Kingdom and all the producers and exporters of oil is important because budgets depend on oil market stability,” Iraqi PM Adil Abdul-Mahdi told reporters in his weekly press conference on Tuesday.   Members some non-members of the Organization of Oil Producing Countries (OPEC) met in Vienna this week. Following a prior agreement on Monday between Saudi Arabia and Russia, the cartel agreed to extend production cuts of 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) for nine more months until March 2020 in a bid to push global prices higher.

      The agreement was based on the Saudi desires to “face market developments and preserve the measures undertaken”, the PM Abdul-Mahdi revealed, adding that he had a phone call with Saudi King Salman prior to the deal.

      According to Iraqi Ministry of Oil statistics for the month of June, Iraq’s oil revenue fell from $7.38 billion in May to $6.4 billion in June as its exports fell by 6 percent, from 111 million barrels in May to 105 million barrels in June.

      Iraq exports around 3.5 million barrels per month — the second highest crude oil producer in OPEC.

      Iraq has agreements, especially a mega deal with the US giant ExxonMobil, to develop its southern oilfields to increase its production capacity. However, due to a missile that hit the main headquarters of the company in Basra, some foreign staff were evacuated in June. 

      The attack against ExxonMobil came amid soaring US-Iran tensions; Iraq could be negatively impacted if the hostilities breakout between Iran and the US.

      However, it also raised questions about Iraq’s ability to provide a secure atmosphere in which foreign companies could invest in the decades-deprived oil sector. It has been reported that Iraq could act as Iran’s “ATM” to provide a loophole for US sanctions. 

      Abdul-Mahdi, in his typical understated manner downplayed the incidents against energy and other companies working in Iraq, claiming they do not exceed those in “other countries.”

      “The security measures are crystal clear. Yes there have been threats, but no real security violation has taken place to any of our oil and non-oil installations. We undertake all measures,” he said.

      Some ExxonMobil employees have returned, the PM claimed, without elaborating.

      Separately, the PM also touched on connecting Iraq’s electricity grid to Arab and regional electricity grids — namely Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Egypt.

      “We haven’t concluded this matter. It is still in the discussion stage. There is both a technical and a financial aspect to it. This is not something that [doesn’t entail] certain financial burdens, extending networks, and costs for these units,” the PM said, though adding the discussions are “serious.”

      “We, as Iraq, have to be connected to [electricity] grids just like the countries of the world,” he emphasized.

      Iraq does import electricity from Iran, but there needs to be greater interconnection with other regional countries, the PM posited.

      Iraq’s electricity grid is aging and strained by an increasing population, reconstruction and development. Usage also peaks in the summer months as temperatures in the south soar over 50 Celsius. The hours of government-produced electricity varies greatly across Iraq and the Kurdistan Region by geography. 
    • By ladyGrace'sDaddy
      Iran sanctions could soon push oil prices above $90 a barrel, Bank of America Merrill Lynch says
      “We are in a very attractive oil price environment and our house view is that oil will hit $90 by the end of the second quarter of next year,” Hootan Yazhari, head of frontier markets equity research at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said. On Tuesday, the U.S. demanded that all countries halt imports of Iranian crude from early November. The Trump administration’s hardline position comes as part of a broader push to try to further isolate Tehran both politically and economically. International benchmark Brent crude traded at around $78.18 on Thursday, up around 0.7 percent while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) stood unchanged at $72.72. Sam Meredith | @smeredith19  

      President Donald Trump’s sustained bid to disrupt Iran’s petroleum exports could soon help to push oil prices above $90 a barrel, analysts told CNBC on Thursday.
      Crude futures were seen hovering close to multi-year highs during early afternoon deals, after a bigger-than-expected drop in U.S. stockpilesadded to a rally fueled by a major Canadian supply outage, concerns about Libya’s exports and efforts by the Trump administration to cut off funds from Iran.
      “We are in a very attractive oil price environment and our house view is that oil will hit $90 by the end of the second quarter of next year,” Hootan Yazhari, head of frontier markets equity research at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said.
        “We are moving into an environment where supply disruptions are visible all over the world… and of course President Trump has been pretty active in trying to isolate Iran and getting U.S. allies not to purchase oil from Iran,” he added.
      International benchmark Brent crude traded at around $78.18 on Thursday, up around 0.7 percent while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) stood unchanged at $72.72.
      Saudi Arabia is ‘genuinely worried’
      On Tuesday, the U.S. demanded that all countries halt imports of Iranian crude from early November. The Trump administration’s hardline position comes as part of a broader push to try to further isolate Tehran both politically and economically.
      Nonetheless, most major importers of Iranian crude have balked at Washington’s almost unilateral policy towards Iran.
          The move followed OPEC’s decision to ramp up crude production last week. The Middle East-dominated cartel is looking to moderate oil prices after a rally of more than 40 percent over the last 12 months.
      The 14-member producer group took action as Venezuela's dwindling output, the looming disruptions to Iran's supplies, and production declines elsewhere raised concerns about crude futures rising enough to dent global demand.
      “You do not want to give Jeff Bezos a seven-year head start.” Hear what else Buffett has to say   “Saudi Arabia is genuinely worried, perhaps even panicked, about supply losses from Iran — something it simply cannot be seen to say publicly — and the likely price spike that will result,” analysts at Energy Aspects said in a research note published Thursday.
    • By Half Crazy Runner
      Can anyone explain to me why must they pass the HCL law before there can be a revaluation of the dinar?  What is the connection? It certainly doesn’t look like the GOI will ever agree on this or even bring it up for a vote. They keep pushing it off to the “next session” year after year...  Is it at all possible that we can ever see an RV without the HCL law passing?
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