Kuwait says market conditions to determine any extension of OPEC-led oil cuts

OPEC, Russia and several other non-OPEC producers began to cut supply in January 2017 in an effort to lift oil prices. (Reuters)
Updated 16 April 2018
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Kuwait says market conditions to determine any extension of OPEC-led oil cuts

KUWAIT: Kuwait’s oil minister said on Monday a pact between OPEC and non-OPEC producers to curb supplies would run to the end of the year and market conditions would determine whether to extend it further.
Bakhit Al-Rashidi also said the meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in June in Vienna would offer a chance to review the deal, adding that oil markets were heading in the right direction for stability.
“The agreement will continue until the end of this year,” the minister told reporters at an oil industry event in Kuwait.
He added that “it would depend on market conditions whether to extend this agreement beyond 2018 or to reach a permanent agreement between OPEC and non-OPEC to support market stability,” saying this issue would be reviewed later in the year.
An initial draft of a longer-term alliance agreement between OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers would be discussed at the June meeting, OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo said last week.
OPEC, Russia and several other non-OPEC producers began to cut supply in January 2017 in an effort to lift oil prices. The pact runs until the end of this year, and the June meeting will see participants decide their next course of action.
A surplus in global oil inventories was close to evaporating, OPEC said last week, citing healthy energy demand and its own supply cuts. It also revised up its forecast for output from rivals that have benefited from higher oil prices.
OPEC has a self-imposed goal of bringing oil inventories in industrialized countries down to their five-year average.
Barkindo said in Kuwait on Monday that oil stocks in the developed world fell in February to below 50 million barrels above the latest five-year average and that the declining trend would continue over the coming months.


Whitbread set to spin off Costa Coffee

Updated 3 min 27 sec ago
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Whitbread set to spin off Costa Coffee

  • Whitbread confident Britain's biggest coffee chain could succeed on its own.
  • Split expected to take place within the next two years.

Whitbread plc said it would spin off Costa Coffee, Britain’s biggest coffee chain, claiming it could thrive as a separately listed business.
The move leaves Whitbread with its Premier Inn hotels operation and the split is expected to be completed within 24 months.
It said Costa Coffee, the world’s second largest coffee shop chain, had attractive long-term international opportunities.
Chief Executive Alison Brittain said: “Given the progress Whitbread is making, we are confident that both Premier Inn and Costa will soon be businesses of sufficient strength, scale and capability to enable them to thrive as independent companies.”
She said the split would be pursued as fast as practical to optimize value for Whitbread’s shareholders.
The announcement came after Whitbread reported growth in full-year revenue of 6.1 percent to £3.3 million and a 4.5 percent rise in underlying profit before tax to £591 million.