Saudi’s Al-Falih says global oil market improving, stabilizing

Saudi Oil Minister Khalid Al-Falih praised the cooperation between Iraq and Saudi Arabia, which he said, contributed to “the improvement and stability we are seeing in the oil market.” (Reuters)
Updated 21 October 2017
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Saudi’s Al-Falih says global oil market improving, stabilizing

BAGHDAD: The global oil market is improving and stabilizing, Saudi Oil Minister Khalid Al-Falih said in Baghdad on Saturday.
In a speech at the opening of the Baghdad International Exhibition, Al-Falih praised the cooperation between Iraq and Saudi Arabia, which he said had helped to boost global oil prices.
Speaking later to reporters, he said Saudi Arabia and Iraq were in agreement on the need to “fully comply” with cutbacks in crude output agreed by OPEC, Russia and several other producers to push up prices.
“The market has improved a lot but has still some way to go,” he said.
Al-Falih is the first Saudi official to make a public speech in Baghdad for several decades.
The two countries began taking steps toward detente in 2015 after 25 years of troubled relations starting with the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990. Al-Falih visited Iraq earlier this year.
“The best example of the importance of cooperation between our two countries is the improvement and stability trend seen in the oil market,” said Al-Falih, to applause from the audience of Iraqi ministers, senior officials and businessmen.
Saudi Arabia and Iraq are the largest and second largest producers of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
The Iraqi oil ministry said in a statement Falih and his Iraqi counterpart, Jabar Al-Luaibi, agreed to cooperate in implementing decisions by oil exporting countries to curb global supply in order to lift crude prices. OPEC, Russia and other producers have reduced production by about 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) since the start of 2017, helping to boost oil prices. The cutbacks should continue until March 2018.


Porsche first German carmaker to abandon diesel engines

Updated 23 September 2018
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Porsche first German carmaker to abandon diesel engines

  • The company would concentrate on its core strength, ‘powerful petrol, hybrid and, from 2019, purely electric vehicles’
  • But Porsche promised it would keep servicing diesel models on the road now

BERLIN: Sports car maker Porsche said Sunday it would become the first German auto giant to abandon the diesel engine, reacting to parent company Volkswagen’s emissions cheating scandal and resulting urban driving bans.
“There won’t be any Porsche diesels in the future,” CEO Oliver Blume told the newspaper Bild am Sonntag.
Instead, the company would concentrate on what he called its core strength, “powerful petrol, hybrid and, from 2019, purely electric vehicles.”
The Porsche chief conceded the step was a result of the three-year-old “dieselgate” scandal at auto giant Volkswagen, the group to which the luxury sports car brand belongs.
VW in 2015 admitted to US regulators to having installed so-called “defeat devices” in 11 million cars worldwide to dupe emissions tests.
It has so far paid out more than €27 billion in fines, vehicle buybacks, recalls and legal costs and remains mired in legal woes at home and abroad.
Diesel car sales have dropped sharply as several German cities have banned them to bring down air pollution — a trend that Chancellor Angela Merkel was due to discuss with car company chiefs in Berlin later Sunday.
Stuttgart-based Porsche in February stopped taking orders for diesel models, which it had sold for nearly a decade.
Blume said Porsche had “never developed and produced diesel engines,” having used Audi motors, yet the image of the brand had suffered.
“The diesel crisis has caused us a lot of trouble,” he said, months after Germany’s Federal Transport Authority ordered the recall of nearly 60,000 Porsche SUVs in Europe.
Blume promised that the company would keep servicing diesel models on the road now.
According to the paper, Porsche also faces claims of having manipulated engines to produce a more powerful sound with a technique that was deactivated during testing.
Blume acknowledged that German regulators had found irregularities in the 8-cylinder Cayenne EU5, affecting some 13,500 units.
Merkel, Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer and heads of German auto companies were due to meet in Berlin later Sunday to discuss steps to avoid more city driving bans.
The German government hopes to see one million fully electric and hybrid vehicles on the road by 2022, up from fewer than 100,000 at the start of this year.