Iraq nears oil output capacity of 5 mln bpd, says committed to OPEC cuts

Iraq is forced to flare some of the gas produced alongside crude oil as it lacks the facilities needed to capture and process it into usable fuel. (Shutterstock)
Updated 13 January 2018
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Iraq nears oil output capacity of 5 mln bpd, says committed to OPEC cuts

ABU DHABI: Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar Al-Luaibi said on Saturday that the OPEC member’s oil output capacity is near reaching 5 million barrels per day, but the country will remain in full compliance with its output target under a global pact to cut supplies.
Luaibi, who was speaking at an industry conference in Abu Dhabi, also said that his ministry plans to conclude three contracts with international gas companies by mid-2018 to utilize gas from the south of the country.
He said that by 2021, the country plans to “reach zero gas flaring.”
Iraq is forced to flare some of the gas produced alongside crude oil as it lacks the facilities needed to capture and process it into usable fuel.


Hajj season boosts Middle East hotel demand in August

Updated 4 min 35 sec ago
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Hajj season boosts Middle East hotel demand in August

  • Occupancy rates — a measure of the proportion of available rooms sold — in the region jumped to 63.4 percent from 62.1 percent
  • The average daily room rate — another key industry metric — increased 12.2 percent to reach close to $170 per night

LONDON: Demand for hotel rooms across the Middle East leapt last month providing welcome relief for an industry that has been grappling with an oversupply of hotel accommodation, new data showed.
Occupancy rates — a measure of the proportion of available rooms sold — in the region jumped to 63.4 percent from 62.1 percent, according to data provider STR’s research published on Sept. 24.
The average daily room rate — another key industry metric — increased 12.2 percent to reach close to $170 per night, while revenue per available room (RevPar) increased by 14.5 percent to reach $107.50.
The region’s hotel sector has been under pressure due partly to the impact of low oil prices and geopolitical risks, resulting in a slump in room revenue and occupancy as supply exceeded demand.
“It is true in the broader sense that we have been seeing a softening of market-wide RevPar levels in the hospitality sector across most major cities within the GCC countries,” said Ali Manzoor, partner, hospitality and leisure at property consultancy firm Knight Frank.
Analysts have blamed the year-on-year uptick in August on the earlier Hajj season and Eid Al-Adha holiday, rather than indicative of a change in outlook for the sector.
“The spike in occupancy levels in August was largely attributable to differences between the Gregorian and Hijri calendars,” Manzoor said.
This year, the pilgrimage period took place in August, helping to boost the industry’s performance that month. “It is therefore reasonable to expect hotels to underperform in the month of September in relation to last year,” he said.
Looking at data for the year-to-date, the UAE retains the highest occupancy rate in the Gulf region at 72.2 percent, though this represents a slight decline of 0.8 percent compared to the same time period last year, according to STR data.
Saudi Arabia’s occupancy levels stood at 58.1 percent year-to-date, marginally up by 0.2 percent on last year.