OPEC president says shale no threat to group

OPEC President and UAE Energy Minister Suhail Al-Mazrouei does not see US shale as a threat to OPEC. (Reuters)
Updated 20 February 2018
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OPEC president says shale no threat to group

LONDON: UAE Energy Minister and OPEC President Suhail Al-Mazrouei said the US shale oil industry was “not a threat” to OPEC member oil-producing countries.
Speaking at an event in London on Feb. 20, he said it was important that the oil industry does not repeat the “mistakes of the past,” where producers became “so excited” by rising shale oil production that they overproduce, causing an imbalance in the market and job losses.
A glut in oil supply caused global oil prices to plummet from mid-2014.
Al-Mazrouei said OPEC plans to meet US shale oil producers at CeraWeek event in the US next month when they will explore the outlook for shale, rather than relying solely on analysts’ reports on the industry.
He underlined the commitment of all 24 OPEC and non-OPEC countries, including Russia, to continue to cut oil production by 1.8 million barrels per day until the end of 2018, following last November’s agreement.
“We are focused on what we agreed in 2017 to work together to balance the market,” he said, refuting suggestions of talks within any countries about an exit strategy from the deal.
“I don’t think we are talking about exit strategy for the time being, we are focused on one target, which is balancing the market,” he said.
Al-Mazrouei said he would like OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers to continue to work together beyond 2018 to ensure “market stability,” as the “job is not complete.”
Commercial oil stocks in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) have fallen by more than 220 million barrels since the beginning of last year, compared to the five-year average, he said.
There remains a further 100 million barrels to remove from the market to reach the five-year OECD inventory average.
Al-Mazrouei confirmed there were plans for an alliance of the 24 non-OPEC and OPEC producers, but he refused to give details while the plans were still in draft form.
He expressed the hope that the alliance would not only be based on benefiting members, but also on “how we contribute to world economic growth.”
And he also reconfirmed previously reported recommendations that oil producer countries need to have capacity buffers in place to help deal with any shocks to the market.


EU gives Nestle a thumbs down in Kit Kat finger row

Updated 19 April 2018
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EU gives Nestle a thumbs down in Kit Kat finger row

  • Nestle has been locked in a decade-long battle with US rival Mondelez, maker of Cadbury chocolate, over the four-fingered wafer biscuit, which was first sold in 1935.
  • The EU’s intellectual property office allowed Nestle in 2006 to trademark what the court calls the “three-dimensional shape of the ‘Kit Kat 4 fingers’ product.”

Luxembourg: The European Union’s top court should cancel Swiss food giant Nestle’s trademark for the shape of the Kit Kat chocolate bar, the court’s top adviser said Thursday.
Nestle has been locked in a decade-long battle with US rival Mondelez, maker of Cadbury chocolate, over the four-fingered wafer biscuit, which was first sold in 1935.
The EU’s intellectual property office allowed Nestle in 2006 to trademark what the court calls the “three-dimensional shape of the ‘Kit Kat 4 fingers’ product.”
Advocate General Melchior Wathelet said the European Court of Justice (ECJ) should dismiss an appeal by Nestle against a lower court’s 2016 decision to annul the trademark.
“Nestle did not adduce sufficient evidence to show that its trademark had acquired distinctive character,” Wathelet said.
He said the intellectual property office should now “re-examine” its decision.
The Luxembourg-based ECJ often, but not always, follows the advice of the advocate general, its senior legal adviser, when making its final judgment.
The food giant specifically failed to show that the Kit Kat shape was well enough known in Belgium, Ireland, Greece, Luxembourg and Portugal, relying instead on market data from other countries, he said.
The official also said the EU court should reject an appeal by Mondelez against part of the judgment, saying it was “manifestly inadmissible.”
Nestle has already lost a legal bid in Britain — currently an EU member state but set to leave next year — to trademark the Kit Kat shape.