Russia-Saudi oil cooperation to bring stability to markets: RDIF’s Dmitriev

Russian Minister of Energy Alexander Novak, Khalid Al-Falih Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources of Saudi Arabia and Minister of Energy of the United Arab Emirates, UAE, Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei, fromm left, attend a news conference after a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, and non OPEC members at their headquarters in Vienna, Austria, Saturday, June 23, 2018. (Ronald Zak/AP)
Updated 25 June 2018
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Russia-Saudi oil cooperation to bring stability to markets: RDIF’s Dmitriev

  • Saudi Arabia and Russia said they had a general consensus that the OPEC+ format should be “institutionalized” and extended until 2019 and beyond to monitor the market and change output if needed
  • Long-term Russia-Saudi cooperation “will ensure pricing stability on global markets and increase investments in the energy sector”

VIENNA: The joint deal by OPEC and other oil-producing allies to raise output demonstrates the strength of the Russia-Saudi energy alliance, which will help stabilize the market for many years to come, the head of Russia’s sovereign wealth fund said on Monday.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other top crude producers agreed to raise output from July by about 1 million barrels per day (bpd), after Saudi Arabia persuaded arch-rival Iran to cooperate.
Ahead of OPEC’s Vienna meeting, Saudi Arabia and Russia, the world’s top oil producers, said they had a general consensus that the OPEC+ format should be “institutionalized” and extended until 2019 and beyond to monitor the market and change output if needed.
“A long-term partnership between Russia and Saudi Arabia related to the coordination of efforts between oil producers and the future creation of a new organization based on OPEC+ will help to overcome disagreements between the producers and work out a united action strategy on the global markets,” Kirill Dmitriev, the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) told Reuters.
Dmitriev, one of the architects of the initial deal between Moscow and OPEC in December 2016, said that long-term Russia-Saudi cooperation “will ensure pricing stability on global markets and increase investments in the energy sector.”
At a meeting with the Russian President Vladimir Putin last week, Dmitriev said that Saudi Arabia, whose Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visited Moscow in June, agreed to invest $10 billion in Russia, of which $2 billion had already been spent.
Dmitriev told Reuters he expected investments between the two countries to double in the next three years.


50 years after Concorde, US start-up eyes supersonic future

Boom Supersonic co-founder, Blake Scholl, poses for a photograph in front of an artists impression of his company's proposed design for an supersonic aircraft, dubbed Baby Boom, at the Farnborough Airshow, south west of London, on July 18, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 15 min ago
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50 years after Concorde, US start-up eyes supersonic future

  • Boom Supersonic’s aircraft is expected by the company to fly for the first time next year
  • The Concorde was retired following an accident in 2000 in which a Concorde crashed shortly after takeoff from Paris, killing 113 people

WEYBRIDGE, United Kingdom: Luxury air travel faster than the speed of sound: A US start-up is aiming to revive commercial supersonic flight 50 years after the ill-fated Concorde first took to the skies.
Blake Scholl, the former Amazon staffer who co-founded Boom Supersonic, delivered the pledge this week in front of a fully-restored Concorde jet at the Brooklands aviation and motor museum in Weybridge, southwest of London.
Boom Supersonic’s backers include Richard Branson and Japan Airlines and other players are eyeing the same segment.
The company aims to manufacture a prototype jet next year but its plans have been met with skepticism in some quarters.
“The story of Concorde is the story of a journey started but not completed — and we want to pick up on it,” Scholl said.
The event coincided with the nearby Farnborough Airshow.
“Today... the world is more linked than it’s ever been before and the need for improved human connection has never been greater,” Scholl said.
“At Boom, we are inspired at what was accomplished half a century ago,” he added, speaking in front of a former British Airways Concorde that flew for the first time in 1969.

Boom Supersonic’s aircraft, dubbed Baby Boom, is expected by the company to fly for the first time next year.
“If we can’t continue where you left off, and build on that, then the shame is on us,” Scholl said, addressing himself to an audience that included retired Concorde staff.
“Our vision is to build a faster airplane that is accessible to more and more people, to anybody who flies.”
Boom Supersonic is making its debut at Farnborough and hopes to produce its new-generation jets in the mid-2020s or later, with the aim of slashing journey times by half.
The proposed aircraft has a maximum flying range of 8,334 kilometers (5,167 miles) at a speed of Mach 2.2 or 2,335 kilometers per hour.
If it takes off, it would be the first supersonic passenger aircraft since Concorde took its final flight in 2003.
The Concorde was retired following an accident in 2000 in which a Concorde crashed shortly after takeoff from Paris, killing 113 people.
Some analysts remain skeptical over the push back into supersonic.
“Supersonic is not what passengers or airlines want right now,” said Strategic Aero analyst Saj Ahmed, stressing that many travelers wanted cheap low-cost carriers instead.
Ahmed said supersonic jets were “very unattractive” because of high start-up development costs, considerations about noise pollution and high prices as well as limited capacity.

Independent air transport consultant John Strickland also noted supersonic travel was unproven commercially.
“Business traffic, on the face of it, is the most lucrative for airlines,” Strickland told AFP.
“But if there is an economic downturn or something happens where the market for business class traffic drains away, then you have nothing else left to do with that aircraft.
“I think it’s going to be some time before we see whether it can establish a large viable market... in the way that Concorde never managed to do.”
These concerns have not stopped interest from other players.
US aerospace giant Boeing had last month unveiled its “hypersonic” airliner concept, which it hopes will fly at Mach 5 — or five times the speed of sound — when it arrives on the scene in 20 to 30 years.
And in April, NASA inked a deal for US giant Lockheed Martin to develop a supersonic “X-plane.”