Aramco boosts oil export capacity from the west

Saudi Aramco has boosted oil export capacity in Yanbu. (Reuters)
Updated 17 October 2018

Aramco boosts oil export capacity from the west

  • Move will allow Yanbu to handle extra 3 million barrels daily
  • Exports crude from oilfields in the east of the Kingdom

LONDON: Saudi Aramco has completed a major upgrade of its port at Yanbu that will allow it to handle an extra 3 million barrels per day of crude oil.
It comes amid a global supply crunch that has led to calls for increased output from Middle East oil exporters such as Saudi Arabia.
The terminal, which is located south of Yanbu on the west coast, consists of a tank farm and offshore facilities to receive, store and load Arabian Light and Arabian Super Light Crude.
“The successful startup of the Yanbu South Terminal is another milestone in reinforcing Saudi Aramco’s goal to be the world’s leading integrated energy and chemicals producer,” said Abdullah Al-Mansour, executive head of pipelines, distribution and terminals at Saudi Aramco.
Yanbu is one of Saudi Arabia’s key petroleum shipping terminals and the country’s second port after Jeddah, located about 300 kilometers to the south. Crude flows from oilfields in the east of the country through pipelines that terminate in Yanbu, before being loaded onto supertankers and being transported around the world.
OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo on Tuesday urged oil companies to increase capacity and boost investment as spare oil capacity shrinks worldwide.
The global oil sector needs about $11 trillion in investment to meet future oil needs in the period up to 2040, Barkindo said.
Earlier this week Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said that the Kingdom was the world’s energy “shock absorber” and pledged to continue to offer a cushion to global supply interruptions.
His remarks coincided with mounting concerns among energy-importing nations about the recent rise in the oil price and increased pressure from the US for the Kingdom to boost production.
“We could have another unanticipated, unplanned disruption. We’ve seen Libya, we’ve seen Nigeria, we’ve seen Venezuela and we have sanctions on Iran. These supply disruptions need a shock absorber,” Al-Falih told the CERAWeek event by IHS Markit.
“The shock absorber has been, to a large part, Saudi Arabia. We have invested tens of billions of dollars to build the spare capacity which has been two to three million barrels over the years.”


Saudi mall operator Arabian Centres bucks retail malaise as profits surge

Updated 21 August 2019

Saudi mall operator Arabian Centres bucks retail malaise as profits surge

  • Mall operator defies online shopping pressure by lowering discounts to tenants, boosting occupancy and rental revenues

LONDON: Arabian Centres, the Saudi mall operator which went public in May, said first-quarter consolidated net profit almost trebled to SR227 million ($60.53 million) as occupancy edged higher across its shopping centers. Revenues increased by about 2.5 percent over the year to SR572.5 million.

The results helped to propel the group’s shares 3 percent higher on Tuesday.

The group said that it boosted performance by offering lower discounts to its tenants which helped to drive rental revenues. Like-for-like occupancy across all malls increased  to 93.2 percent from 92.4 percent in the year earlier period. Finance costs fell by about 65 percent from a year earlier to SR73.9 million.

FASTFACT

 

27 - Arabian Centres plans to expand its mall portfolio to 27 within four years.

Retailers across the Middle East are coming under increased pressure as more consumers shop online, while at the same time, tourists are spending less in dollar-pegged economies because their purchasing power has been cut by the strength of the greenback. Still, in Saudi Arabia, the under-served retail market is expected to receive a boost from rising investment in the entertainment sector, especially new cinemas.

“Faced with the rising challenge of online shopping, the brick-and-mortar retail segment has sought to diversify its offering to secure its customer base, providing an increased range of leisure and entertainment facilities,” said Oxford Business Group, in a report analyzing emerging trends in the Saudi retail sector.

“The reintroduction of cinemas to the Kingdom in April last year ... is expected to increase retail footfall,” it said.

Arabian Centres, majority-owned by Fawaz Alhokair Group, listed its shares on the Tadawul stock exchange in May — the first to do so in the Kingdom under Rule 144a, allowing the sale of securities, mainly to qualified institutional buyers in the US.

The group aims to expand to 27 malls within four years.