‘Transport sector offers immense investment scope’

Updated 26 February 2015
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‘Transport sector offers immense investment scope’

A senior government official has urged investors to take advantage of the opportunities available in the transport sector.
Abdulaziz Al-Ohaly, president of the Public Transport Authority (PTA), indicated that there are promising opportunities in the Saudi transport sector in the coming years.
He was speaking during the panel discussion on “At the crossroads, how Saudi Arabia can leverage its unique position and become a leader in global transport” at the GCF 2015, which ended in Riyadh on Tuesday.
The other panelists included Martin Powell, head of urban development, Siemens AG; Pierre Verzat, CEO of SYSTRA; Temel Kotil, president and CEO, Turkish Airlines; Fahad Al-Rasheed, CEO and managing director of King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC); and Lord Peter Mandelson, British Labour Party politician and president of the International Think Tank Policy Network, who was the moderator.
Al-Ohaly called on investors to take advantage of the opportunities in projects that will come into force soon in construction and maintenance services, information technology, advertising and media consulting, support services and the supply of vehicles and equipment.
The PTA was established recently to ease the transport problems in all parts of the Kingdom, Al-Ohaly said, adding that the government bears the maintenance and the operations costs of the authority.
“The objectives of the PTA focus on the regulation and supervision of public transport and encourage investment in this area and capacity building,” Al-Ohaly said. He noted that public transport contributes to the development of cities and facilitates the movement and job creation, and reduces the adverse environmental impact of the traffic congestion and waste of time on the roads.
He said the Kingdom is in the process of introducing a new transport system, which includes Metro rail, and enhanced road, maritime and air networks.
He said the Kingdom has developed transport networks between the cities. To ease road travel, he said, the Kingdom has signed several agreements with the neighboring countries to formalize the Custom regulations. Such projects including the new rail projects would generate employment opportunities for youths of the country.
Martin Powell said: "The rapid growth of the Kingdom's population has necessitated new transport programs to facilitate movement of people from one end to the other to do their daily and business work.
Temel Kotil said there is a movement of 30 million passengers traveling annually in and out of the country and therefore the Kingdom needs more airports to ease air travel, which will save the time of the people.


Libya’s National Oil against paying ‘ransom’ to reopen El Sharara field

Updated 14 December 2018
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Libya’s National Oil against paying ‘ransom’ to reopen El Sharara field

  • Ransom payment would set dangerous precedent
  • NOC declared force majeure on exports on Monday

BENGHAZI: Libya’s state-owned National Oil Corp. (NOC) said it was against paying a ransom to an armed group that has halted crude production at the country’s largest oilfield.
“Any attempt to pay a ransom to the armed militia which shut down El Sharara (oilfield) would set a dangerous precedent that would threaten the recovery of the Libyan economy,” NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla said in a statement on the company’s website.
NOC on Monday declared force majeure on exports from the 315,000-barrels-per-day oilfield after it was seized at the weekend by a local militia group.
The nearby El-Feel oilfield, which uses the same power supply as El Sharara, was still producing normally, a spokesman for NOC said, without giving an output figure. The field usually pumps around 70,000 bpd.
Since 2013 Libya has faced a wave of blockages of oilfields and export terminals by armed groups and civilians trying to press the country’s weak state into concessions.
Officials have tended to end such action by paying off protesters who demand to be added to the public payroll.
At El Sharara, in southern Libya, a mix of state-paid guards, civilians and tribesmen have occupied the field, camping there since Saturday, protesters and oil workers said. The protesters work in shifts, with some going home at night.
NOC has evacuated some staff by plane, engineers at the oilfield said. A number of sub-stations away from the main field have been vacated and equipment removed.
The occupiers are divided, with members of the Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) indicating they would end the blockade in return for a quick cash payment, oil workers say. The PFG has demanded more men be added to the public payroll.
The tribesmen have asked for long-term development funds, which might take time.
Libya is run by two competing, weak governments. Armed groups, tribesmen and normal Libyans tend to vent their anger about high inflation and a lack of infrastructure on the NOC, which they see as a cash cow booking billions of dollars in oil and gas revenues annually.