Shell ending investments in gas development project in #Saudi Arabia

Updated 08 July 2014
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Shell ending investments in gas development project in #Saudi Arabia

DUBAI: Royal Dutch Shell is ending investments in a gas development project in Saudi Arabia, complicating the top oil exporter’s efforts to exploit its huge gas reserves.
The search for gas has been a priority for Saudi Arabia as it struggles to keep pace with rapidly rising domestic demand.
But the emergence of the shale gas industry has opened up more lucrative opportunities for energy companies elsewhere.
“Shell has decided to end further investment in the Kidan development,” it said in a e-mailed statement.
“This was a difficult decision but Shell remains committed to the Kingdom and we are keen to grow our investments, both in upstream and downstream.”
Shell did not give a reason for the decision to shelve the joint venture in the Kidan area of the Empty Quarter, the sea of sand dunes that cover south-east Saudi Arabia.
Last year, industry sources said the company was set to end investments in the venture due to disagreements with the government over terms.
At least three foreign firms — Italy’s, Spain’s Repsol and France’s Total — have already abandoned the search for commercially viable gas deposits in that part of Saudi Arabia.
Shell has stuck it out longer in its South Rub Al-Khali Co. (SRAK) project with Saudi Aramco after finding small quantities of gas.
Kidan is rich in sour gas and is near the 750,000 barrels per day (bpd) Shaybah oilfield, one of the biggest in the country. Sour gas has high levels of potentially deadly hydrogen sulphide and therefore is tougher to produce than conventional gas reserves.
The relatively high cost of developing challenging deposits in a country where gas sales prices are fixed at a fraction of probable production costs were possible reasons to discourage Shell too, industry sources familiar with the matter told Reuters last year.
Saudi Arabia, which holds the world’s fifth largest proven reserves of gas, expects domestic demand for natural gas — which it uses mainly for power generation — to almost double by 2030 from 2011 levels of 3.5 trillion cubic feet per year.


Gulf stocks extend losses on tanker attacks

Updated 17 June 2019
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Gulf stocks extend losses on tanker attacks

  • Cautious mood among investors as fears of military confrontation rise

DUBAI: Stock markets in the Gulf extended losses on Sunday reflecting a cautious mood among investors following last week’s oil tanker attacks. 

The attacks on the tankers in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday raised fears of a military confrontation in a vital shipping route for global oil supply and heightened tensions between Iran and the US, which have been in a standoff over Iran’s nuclear program. 

The Saudi index had dropped 1.6 percent on Thursday and fell a further 0.6 percent on Sunday after slight gains in early trade. Most Saudi banks were down, despite Sunday’s announcement by Saudi British Bank that its merger with Alawwal Bank was completed. 

HIGHLIGHTS

• Gulf stocks reverse early gains.

• Gulf of Oman tanker attacks dampen investor mood.

• Saudi banks mostly down despite SABB-Alawwal merger.

The two banks have combined to create the country’s third largest lender, becoming a single listed company after regulatory approvals. SABB’s shares shed 0.1 percent. Alinma Bank, however, gained 0.4 percent, and was one of the stocks registering the highest trading volume on Sunday. 

In the UAE, the Dubai and Abu Dhabi indexes fell 0.7 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively. The Dubai market had risen earlier in the day, boosted by DAMAC Properties and Union Properties, which closed up 2.2 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively. But heavyweight Emaar Properties, the largest developer in the emirate, fell 2.5 percent, weighing on the index. 

Dubai’s telecom operator Du (Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Co) shed 0.4 percent, reversing earlier gains, after it said the UAE sovereign wealth fund Emirates Investment Authority had increased its stake by buying 463.3 million shares from Mamoura Diversified Global Holding and General Investments. 

In Abu Dhabi, blue chip companies Aldar Properties, First Abu Dhabi Bank and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company for Distribution, led losses, dragging down the main index. The other Gulf markets were all in the red, except for the Bahrain index, which rose slightly. 

In Egypt, the index gained 0.2 percent, boosted by a 4.5 percent gain by Pioneers Holding Company for Financial Investments. The company said one of its divisions, Arab Dairy Products, had received a letter of intent from a Netherlands based company about a plan to buy it.