Qatar plans to invest $ 140 bn in transport infrastructure

Updated 12 July 2013
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Qatar plans to invest $ 140 bn in transport infrastructure

A recent Deloitte report entitled ‘Insight into the Qatar construction market and opportunities for real estate developers’ examines the construction market in Qatar and assesses opportunities for real estate developers in the country. Having been selected to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022 brought forth the opportunity for Qatar to position itself as a regional sporting hub. Qatar National Vision 2013 and programs such as Q2022 are focusing on leaving a legacy for Qatar in terms of football, infrastructure and economic development.
The Deloitte report looks into the government’s strategy of promoting sustainable tourism with the purpose of attracting more tourists and visitors. Projects such as the Qatar-Bahrain causeway is an example of this strategy, as it will help drive regional tourist arrivals in Qatar.
In terms of infrastructure, the Deloitte report examines Qatar’s plans to invest over $ 140 billion in transport infrastructure in anticipation of the FIFA World Cup 2022. Plans to construct new roads and a metro system have been put forth in order to support the anticipated influx of football visitors in addition to the airport expansion, which is already under way.
Deloitte experts expect this influx to also bring with it an increased demand for accommodation, with numerous worldwide chain hotels actively considering investments in the country. In fact, Qatar Tourism Authority plans to invest about $ 20 billion on tourism infrastructure as the number of tourist arrivals grows at a rate of 15.9 percent compounded annually, to reach 3.7 million by 2022. This growth also creates opportunities for the development of commercial units, such as various shopping malls around Qatar.
Environmental sustainability has become a key item in the government’s agenda. One of the key goals for the Q2022 program is to improve environmental sustainability, not only limited to the event but also for the entire country. The Deloitte report suggests that the program may deliver a new environmental sustainability standard and improve nationwide awareness.
It is evident that immense opportunities exist for developers in the region and beyond, due in part to the infrastructure requirements of the FIFA World Cup 2022, and also as part of realizing Qatar’s national vision. Jesdev Saggar, managing director, infrastructure and capital projects at Deloitte.
Corporate Finance Ltd. commented: "With the world focused on Qatar’s every move, it is imperative that the local industry prepares itself for the plethora of international organizations that are ready to descend on Doha. Preparing for the competition is as important to everyone on the built environment, as it will be when the games start."
These findings are in line with the "GCC powers of construction: Meeting the challenges of delivering mega projects" report issued by Deloitte during May 2013. The fourth publication in its series and the only one of its kind among the financial services industry in the Middle East.
The GCC Powers of Construction report highlights that the ingredients for capital projects could not be better in the GCC region as the I&CP (infrastructure and capital projects) market is growing rapidly with governments announcing projects across the Middle East region, utilizing trillions of petro-dollars over the coming years.

According to this Deloitte report, clients’ increasing need for transparency, predictability and sustainability of what they spend provides contractors with an opportunity to reflect on how they can meet this by better operational performance, improved procurement, schedule management and cost reporting.
The report highlights the case of Qatar, whereby Qatar was the third most active GCC construction market in 2012, with $ 10.4 billion worth of contracts awarded. Transport infrastructure dominated Qatar’s construction sector, with four of the five biggest contracts awarded for major transport projects. Hosting the FIFA 2022 World Cup should yield considerable contracts across the construction and infrastructure sectors.
"With significant investment in major infrastructure programs increasing over the coming years across the GCC, contractors, consultants and clients alike need to rethink the way they engage each other if they are to truly realize the benefits each can bring to the process," said Cynthia Corby, audit partner and leader of the construction industry for the Middle East.
As to Qatar, Deloitte suggests that successful bidders will have to take into consideration a number of factors such as alignment with Qatar’s 2022 program strategic objectives, adherence to sustainability and health and safety standards, innovation, quality and with an overall focus on the legacy theme, which is embedded in the strategy for delivering the Qatar 2022 World Cup. 


Russian oil industry now self-reliant enough to weather US ‘bill from hell’

Updated 18 August 2018
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Russian oil industry now self-reliant enough to weather US ‘bill from hell’

  • Western sanctions imposed in 2014 over Russia’s annexation of Crimea have already made it extremely hard for many state oil firms such as Rosneft to borrow abroad
  • Russian gas exporting monopoly Gazprom has maintained its output since 2014 and actually increased exports to Europe to an all-time high in 2017

MOSCOW: Stiff new US sanctions against Russia would only have a limited impact on its oil industry because it has drastically reduced its reliance on Western funding and foreign partnerships and is lessening its dependence on imported technology.
Western sanctions imposed in 2014 over Russia’s annexation of Crimea have already made it extremely hard for many state oil firms such as Rosneft to borrow abroad or use Western technology to develop shale, offshore and Arctic deposits.
While those measures have slowed down a number of challenging oil projects, they have done little to halt the Russian industry’s growth with production near a record high of 11.2 million barrels per day in July — and set to climb further.
Since 2014, the Russian oil industry has effectively halted borrowing from Western institutions, instead relying on its own cash flow and lending from state-owned banks while developing technology to replace services once supplied by Western firms.
Analysts say this is partly why Russian oil stocks have been relatively unscathed since US senators introduced legislation to impose new sanctions on Russia over its interference in US elections and its activities in Syria and Ukraine.
The measures introduced on Aug. 2, dubbed by the senators as the “bill from hell,” include potential curbs on the operations of state-owned Russian banks, restrictions on holding Russian sovereign debt as well as measures against Western involvement in Russian oil and gas projects.
While the rouble has fallen more than 10 percent and Russian banking stocks have slumped 20 percent since the legislation was introduced, shares in Russian oil firms have climbed 2 percent, leaving them 27 percent higher so far in 2018.
“The main driver of the Russian oil industry’s profitability is the oil price denominated in roubles and it is currently posting new records as the rouble is getting weaker. Hence the sanction noise often even has a positive impact on Russian oil stocks,” said Dmitry Marinchenko at Fitch Ratings.

 

The prospects for the latest US sanctions bill are not immediately clear. It would have to pass both the Senate and House of Representatives and then be signed into law by President Donald Trump.
To be sure, Washington could really hurt the Russian oil industry if it introduced Iran-like measures forbidding oil purchases from the country. But given Russia produces more than 11 percent of global crude, such a measure would lead to a major spike in oil prices and hit the US itself hard as it is the world’s largest oil consumer.
Russian gas exporting monopoly Gazprom, for example, has maintained its output since 2014 and actually increased exports to Europe to an all-time high in 2017, securing a 34 percent share of EU markets amid rising demand.
But of all Russian oil and gas companies, it is the only one to have borrowed significant sums from the West — about $5 billion in 2017 and $3 billion in 2018 so far — using Eurobonds and syndicated loans.
What’s more, those amounts are only equivalent to a small proportion of Gazprom’s annual capital spending of $22 billion. The rest of the Russian oil industry invests a similar amount each year as well, mostly without Western funding.
That represents a major departure from the years prior to the sanctions when the lion’s share of Russian oil industry’s borrowing came from Western banks or export-backed facilities with trading houses and major oil companies.
In 2013, for example, a year before the first Western sanctions, Rosneft alone borrowed more than $35 billion from Western institutions to buy smaller rival TNK-BP and to fund its capital spending.
There has been a similar shift in joint ventures between Russian and Western companies.
A decade ago, dozens of projects were planned but the number has shrunk to just a few ventures, which are important but not critical to help Russia maintain its output growth.
US oil giant Exxon Mobil and Italy’s Eni, for example, have dropped plans to help Russia develop offshore fields and US company ConocoPhillips sold out from Russia’s biggest private oil firm Lukoil.
The key remaining ventures involving Western companies are three projects between BP and Rosneft in East and West Siberia and a gas venture between Rosneft and Exxon Mobil on Sakhalin island.
Also on the gas front, Royal Dutch Shell and France’s Total have been considering new liquefied natural gas projects with Gazprom and Novatek, as well as a new pipeline to Europe under the Baltic Sea.
But to put the projects in perspective, the combined cost of all of them is about $50 billion — less than a 10th of the Russian oil industry’s investment program for the next decade.
And if Western institutions are wary of lending to Russia, other countries such as China have been prepared to step in. Novatek and Total, for example, launched the $27 billion Yamal LNG plant this year with Beijing’s financial support.
WEAKEST LINK
The weakest link in the Russian oil industry in the face of sanctions has traditionally been high-end Western technology such as complex drilling, hydraulic fracturing or IT, said Denis Borisov, director of EY’s oil and gas center in Moscow.
Russia’s drilling and oil servicing market is worth about $20 billion a year and the share of the market held by Western service companies has remained fairly steady over the last few years and at about a fifth.
“But the process of replacing foreign equipment with local production has gathered pace,” said Borisov.
Rosneft, which produces 40 percent of Russian oil, has recently tested its own simulated hydraulic fracturing technology — the extraction technique that spurred the boom in US shale oil production.
The technology first came to Russia mainly via major Western oil services firms such as Schlumberger and Halliburton .
Companies such as Schlumberger are still doing a lot of complex drilling work in the Caspian Sea and West Siberia for Lukoil, as well as working on the world’s longest extended reach well for Exxon and Rosneft off the Sakhalin island.
But Fitch’s Marinchenko said the reliance of Russian oil firms on Western technology has declined since 2014 thanks to imports from China and local production of drilling equipment.
Since 2014, Rosneft’s own drilling subsidiary has doubled its market share to 25 percent, meaning the company has become almost self sufficient.
“It is clear that new wide-scale sanctions on technology will not become the start of an end for the Russian oil industry, especially if Europe doesn’t join them,” said Marinchenko. “But it will complicate the development of hard to extract or depleted deposits.”

FACTOID

Ratings agencies, consultants see limited impact from bill / Russian oil firms have reduced borrowing from West / Spending funded by own cash flow, state banks and China / Technology seen as weakest link as dependence significant