Iraq lifts oil output at Eni’s Zubair field

Zubair’s production capacity will rise gradually to 625,000 bpd by the end of the year, as three additional processing facilities are added. (Reuters)
Updated 09 May 2018
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Iraq lifts oil output at Eni’s Zubair field

  • Production rose after the completion of a new oil processing facility.
  • Country is also seeking to lift its refining capacity to become self-sufficient in oil products.

ZUBAIR: Iraq has lifted oil production at Eni’s Zubair field in the south by 50,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 475,000 bpd, an Iraqi oil official said on Wednesday.
Production rose after the completion of a new oil processing facility, Muhaned Abbas Kojer, the capacity expansion project director, told Reuters on the sidelines of a ceremony to launch the new installations in Al-Zubair, south of Basra.
Zubair’s production capacity will rise gradually to 625,000 bpd by the end of the year, as three additional processing facilities are added, and further expansions will take its capacity to its 850,000 bpd target by 2020, Abbas said.
The field should produce 140 million cubic feet per day of gas by the end of the year, he added.
Iraq, the second-largest crude oil producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries after Saudi Arabia, has an oil production capacity of nearly 5 million bpd.
Crude output is kept at about 4.45 million bpd, in line with a deal between OPEC and some other non-OPEC producers to curb production in order to bolster crude prices.
The country is also seeking to lift its refining capacity to become self-sufficient in oil products.
The oil ministry has asked investors for bids by June 14 to build a 100,000 bpd refinery in Kut, south of Baghdad.
Iraq’s refining capacity was curbed when Daesh overran its largest oil processing plant in Baiji, north of Baghdad, in 2014.
Iraqi forces recaptured Baiji in 2015 but it sustained heavy damage in the fighting. The country now relies on the Doura refinery in Baghdad and the Shuaiba plant in the Basra region.


Is the Dubai economy turning the corner?

Updated 34 min 38 sec ago
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Is the Dubai economy turning the corner?

  • Expo 2020 expected to boost GDP
  • Relaxation of residency rules helps real estate

LONDON: Is the Dubai economy finally turning the corner? At least one major international bank thinks so.

It follows a move by the emirate's leadership to reboot an economy that has been hit hard by corporate job losses, the introduction of VAT and a slowing real estate sector.

The UAE’s non-oil economy is likely to “turn a corner” next year with Dubai’s Expo 2020 infrastructure projects, changes to visa rules and increased government spending set to boost growth, according to a Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML) research note.

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company’s (ADNOC) downstream expansion plans are also expected to drive the country’s non-oil GDP growth, said the note compiled by Middle East and North Africa (MENA) economist Jean Michel Saliba.

The Gulf country’s real GDP growth is estimated to rise to 3.5 percent in 2019 from a forecast 2.8 percent increase this year and a 1.9 percent increase in 2017, said the note published on Thursday.

Buoyed by a recovery in oil prices, Abu Dhabi approved a 50 billion dirham ($13.6 billion) three-year stimulus package in early June, which BofAML estimated could add 0.4 percentage points to non-oil GDP growth.

ADNOC’s $45 billion five-year downstream investment plan — revealed in May — is estimated to add a further 1.1 percentage point to the emirate’s non-oil growth, the report said.

The Expo 2020 event in Dubai could drive up GDP growth by 2 percentage points between 2020 and 2021, the report said, by boosting job creation, consumption and tourist numbers.

Given the improvement in oil prices, the cost of Abu Dhabi’s stimulus spending is considered “financeable” by BofAML, while Dubai’s spending plans are said to be “modest.”

Recent structural reforms, including plans to introduce long-term expatriate visas for up to 10 years, could help to boost the UAE’s population and consumer demand, the note said.

“The new UAE long-term and temporary visa system should facilitate retention of white-collar expatriates,” it said.

“As we expect longer-term visas not to be linked to continued employment, this may increase expatriate incentives to acquire property and support real estate demand.”

The UAE announced in May that it would allow 100 percent foreign ownership of UAE companies in specific industries by the end of the year, a move that could give a welcome boost to foreign direct investment in the country.

A new UAE-wide insurance scheme may provide a one-time boost to corporate profits, the note said.

The UAE cabinet approved plans in June for the insurance scheme to replace the previous system whereby employers had to provide a monetary guarantee to cover each of their workforce.

The move is likely to free up capital that companies could choose to sit on or to reinvest, BofAML said.

“Should corporates invest, we estimate this could lead to a one-off 0.1percentage point boost to UAE non-hydrocarbon real GDP growth,” the report said.