KSA and Bahrain sign $300m contracts for new oil pipeline

Updated 17 September 2015
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KSA and Bahrain sign $300m contracts for new oil pipeline

MANAMA: Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have signed contracts worth around $300 million to lay a new 350,000-barrel per day (bpd) oil pipeline between the two countries, with the link due to be operational in 2018, Bahrain’s Energy Minister said.

Bahrain relies on output from the Abu Safa oil field that it shares with Saudi Arabia for the vast majority of its oil and the new pipeline will replace an ageing 230,000 bpd link and enable Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco) expand the processing capacity of its 267,000 bpd Sitra refinery.
Eventually the new pipeline’s capacity could be increased to 400,000 bpd, Abdul-Hussain bin Ali Mirza said at a signing event in Manama.
“It will be finished by the end of 2017 or early 2018 and then there will be a six-month trial period for the new pipeline,” said Mirza, adding that the old pipeline was likely to be removed from service in the second half of 2018.
Arabian Light crude oil will flow from Saudi Aramco’s Abqaiq plant via the 115-km pipeline, 73 km of which will run overland and the rest under the Gulf.
Agreements to build the pipeline were signed with Saudi Arabia’s Al-Robaya Holding Company and National Petroleum Construction Company of the UAE.
The former will complete onshore engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) work in Saudi as well as conducting engineering and procurement work in Bahrain. The latter has been awarded an EPC contract for the offshore work.
A contract for construction at the Bahrain end of the pipeline has yet to be awarded, according to a statement from Bapco.
The cost of the pipeline will be met by nogaholding, an investment vehicle which holds the Bahraini government’s oil and gas assets.
The new pipeline has been long talked about. Mirza told Reuters in March the pipeline would be ready in 2018, after officials had previously estimated completion by the third quarter of 2016.


US-China trade talks resume in Washington from Tuesday

Updated 27 min 2 sec ago
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US-China trade talks resume in Washington from Tuesday

  • The last set of talks ended Friday in Beijing with no deal
  • The next round of negotiations will commence with deputy-level meetings before moving on to principal-level talks on Thursday

WASHINGTON: US-China trade talks aimed at ending a damaging tariff war will resume from Tuesday in Washington, the White House has announced.
The last set of talks ended Friday in Beijing with no deal, though US President Donald Trump said the discussions were going “extremely well” and suggested he could extend a March 1 truce deadline for an agreement to be reached.
The next round of negotiations will commence with deputy-level meetings before moving on to principal-level talks on Thursday, a White House statement issued Monday said.
For the US, the talks will be led by Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and include Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, economic policy adviser Larry Kudlow, and trade adviser Peter Navarro.
China’s commerce ministry meanwhile announced it would be represented by Vice Premier Liu He, Beijing’s top trade negotiator.
On Friday, Trump re-iterated he might be willing to hold off on increasing tariffs to 25 percent from the current 10 percent on March 1 on $200 billion in Chinese goods if Washington and Beijing are close to finalizing an agreement to deal with US complaints about unfair trade and theft of American technology.
American officials accuse Beijing of seeking global industrial predominance through an array of unfair trade practices, including the “theft” of American intellectual property and massive state intervention in commodities markets.
Since a December detente, China has resumed purchases of some US soybeans and dangled massive buying of American commodities to get US trade negotiators closer to a deal.
The talks are aimed at “achieving needed structural changes in China that affect trade between the United States and China,” Monday’s statement said.
“The two sides will also discuss China’s pledge to purchase a substantial amount of goods and services from the United States.”
Beijing and Washington have imposed duties on more than $360 billion in two-way trade, which are weighing on their manufacturing sectors and have shaken global financial markets.