Al-Naimi: ‘We have not declared war on shale’

Updated 25 February 2016
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Al-Naimi: ‘We have not declared war on shale’

HOUSTON: Petroleum and Mineral Resources Minister Ali Al-Naimi said on Tuesday he was confident more nations would join a pact to freeze output at existing levels in talks expected next month, but effectively ruled out production cuts by major crude producers any time soon.
Addressing the annual IHS CERAWeek conference in Houston, Al-Naimi told global energy executives that growing support for the freeze and stronger demand should over time ease a global glut that has pushed oil prices to their lowest levels in more than a decade.
It was Al-Naimi’s first public appearance in the US since the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ meeting in November 2014.
He said the Kingdom welcomed “all sources of supply,” including shale.
“We have not declared war on shale or any given country or company, contrary to all the rumors,” Al-Naimi said in the speech.
“We are hopeful that the nimbleness and responsiveness demonstrated by shale oil producers will continue. These supplies may be needed quickly once markets balance and tighten.”
Al-Naimi also reiterated his longstanding position that Saudi Arabia was ready to meet the demand of its customers, maintaining a cushion of spare production capacity and remaining open to “cooperative action” with other producers to create a stable oil market.
He added: “A freeze is the beginning of a process. If we can get all the major producers to agree not to add additional barrels then this high inventory we have now will probably decline in due time,” said Al-Naimi.
But he was emphatic markets should not view the agreement as a prelude to production cuts, saying there was not enough trust to get such a deal.
“That is not going to happen because not many countries are going to deliver,” Al-Naimi said during a Q&A session after his speech.
“Even if they say that they will cut production they will not do it. There is no sense in wasting our time seeking production cuts. They will not happen.”
Oil prices have fallen 70 percent since mid-2014 as surplus crude piled up.
“We are doing what every other industry representative in this room is doing. We are responding to challenging market conditions and seeking the best possible outcome in a highly competitive environment.”


Major projects, investments worth over $685bn unveiled on Saudi National Day

A photo taken on July 5, 2018, shows Bader al-Ajmi, 38,(L) owner of "One Way Burger" serving customers from his truck at a main street in the capital Riyadh. (AFP)
Updated 22 September 2018
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Major projects, investments worth over $685bn unveiled on Saudi National Day

  • The private sector’s contribution to the GDP at constant prices doubled to around SR1236.6 million in 2017

JEDDAH: A major economic boost in the form of 10 major projects and investments exceeding SR685 billion ($183 billion) were unveiled as celebrations of the 88th Saudi National Day got under way.
The Council of Saudi Chambers released a report focusing on great economic achievements in 2017.
These projects reflect the Kingdom’s vision under the wise leadership of King Salman and that of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to provide a brighter future through diversifying sources of national income, tackling environmental challenges and increasing investment and prosperity.
The report summarized the most important events and economic developments in the Kingdom over the past year. These include the lifting of the ban on women driving in June, and the establishment of the General Authority for Cyber Security, in addition to the numerous royal decrees providing financial support to Saudis.
It also noted the important decisions related to the Saudi business sector. These include the launch of a private sector incentive program with a value of SR72 billion, the privatization of 10 government sectors and the establishment of the General Authority for Real Estate. The private sector is still showing a strong performance as an efficient partner in the inclusive development process and in the achievement of the Kingdom’s 2030 Vision, the report noted, as it contributes 39 percent to the Saudi gross domestic product (GDP).
The private sector’s contribution to the GDP at constant prices doubled to around SR1236.6 million in 2017. There has been increased contribution to GDP from non-oil private sector streams.
The private sector also witnessed an increase in the number of workers, in its capital, in the number of shares on the Saudi market, in the cumulative number of establishments operating in the Kingdom, and in non-oil exports.
Continued growth of the private sector was attributed by the report to the Saudi government’s support. This support comes through initiatives such as the removal of obstacles to financial development, improvements to the working environment and policies adopted to boost investment.
It also reviewed the private sector’s efforts to support diversification of the economy and lower unemployment rates.
The importance of the measures taken to prioritize the employment of qualified Saudi workers over the employment of expatriates in the private sector were stressed, as well as the sector’s role in providing education and health services.