Saudi Arabia is ‘flexible’ on Russian idea to extend oil cuts to end of 2018

Updated 06 October 2017
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Saudi Arabia is ‘flexible’ on Russian idea to extend oil cuts to end of 2018

MOSCOW: Saudi Arabia made no firm pledge on Thursday to extend a deal between OPEC, Russia and other producers on cutting supplies but said it was “flexible” regarding Moscow’s suggestion to prolong the pact until the end of 2018.
Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih was speaking in a television interview a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin said the supply reduction deal that is due to expire in March could run to the end of next year.
“In the kingdom, we have to keep all options open, President Putin agreed with us on this and expressed his readiness to extend until the end of 2018 if this is agreed, and if this is the best option,” Al-Falih told Al Arabiya television.
He said he welcomed the “flexibility” shown by Russia on the issue and said the Saudi government aimed to “be flexible in leading the producing countries in and outside of OPEC to a consensus that takes the market to where we want it to be.”
Saudi Arabia and Russia helped secure a deal between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and 10 rival suppliers to cut output until the end of March 2018 in an effort to reduce a glut.
Oil rose above $56 a barrel on Thursday, supported by expectations of an extension to the supply cut pact. But prices are still half their mid-2014 levels.
Climbing US shale production has kept a lid on price gains, but Falih said inventories were still falling.
“Shale coming in and happening again in 2018 doesn’t bother me at all. The market can absorb it,” Al-Falih said, speaking alongside Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak on a panel at an energy forum in Moscow.
“We have seen a steady reduction in inventories. We see as we enter the fourth quarter that supply is less than demand and inventories are declining around the world,” Al-Falih said.
Novak said he was satisfied with oil prices and Moscow would welcome other producers joining the deal to curb output.
Al-Falih said this week’s visit by King Salman to Russia, the first by a Saudi monarch, showed the high level of mutual trust between the world’s two biggest oil producers.
The two nations would continue working to stabilize the market, Salman told Putin. The king also said there were opportunities to expand economic cooperation with Russia.
Al-Falih echoed these comments, saying: “I see huge opportunities in front of our countries and for the business sector in both nations.”
A slew of investment agreements and memorandums of understanding (MoUs) are due to be signed during the king’s trip. Plans for a $1 billion joint fund to invest in energy projects are also expected to be finalized.
Al-Falih said MoUs would be signed with Russia’s state nuclear agency Rosatom for the peaceful use of nuclear energy, alongside other deals for military industries and marine development.


Riyadh governor launches SR3 billion educational projects in Saudi capital

Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar inaugurates SR3 billion worth of educational projects on Wednesday. (SPA)
Updated 26 April 2018
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Riyadh governor launches SR3 billion educational projects in Saudi capital

  • 253 schools will open their doors to students: governor
  • The school buildings would serve 206,465 male and female students at all stages of schooling with 5,899 classrooms

RIYADH: Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar launched SR3 billion ($800 million) worth of educational projects on Wednesday at the Riyadh General Administration of Education. 

The launch was in the presence of Education Minister Ahmed Al-Issa and a number of educational and pedagogical leaders as well as governmental bodies.

Prince Faisal said: “Today, we are seeing the cancelation of many old schools and the enhancement of many new ones; 253 schools will open their doors to students, a very high number that is not very common in many other states.”

The director general of education in Riyadh, Hamad bin Nasser Al-Wahaibi, said the educational projects aimed to achieve the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, which includes providing an adequate educational environment for students and teachers.

He said that the number of educational projects launched on Wednesday by Prince Faisal totaled 253 educational buildings, including 132 for boys and 121 for girls, along with 122 modern gyms, 44 playing fields, and 28 kindergartens and educational offices. He said that the school buildings would serve 206,465 male and female students at all stages of schooling with 5,899 classrooms. 

The total worth of these projects was SR3 billion ($800 million) and the current school year had seen the operation of 48 educational projects worth more than SR572 million.

These projects included four kindergartens, 12 primary schools, 11 educational projects for middle school, five for high school and 13 educational complexes and gyms. 

This year, seven kindergarten buildings, 22 primary schools, 15 middle schools, nine high school buildings and 20 gyms were operated, along with 31 buildings for boys (including 757 classrooms for 22,000 students) and 33 buildings for girls (including 404 classrooms for 12,000 female students), he said.

He said that the Riyadh administration supervised 119 educational projects worth more than SR1.2 billion.