OPEC ready to cut supplies in 2013 to support oil prices

Updated 20 December 2012
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OPEC ready to cut supplies in 2013 to support oil prices

VIENNA: OPEC does not see increased US oil output as a threat to its interests but is skeptical about current forecasts on the boom of American shale gas production, a senior official of the 12-nation group said.

OPEC Secretary-General Abdullah Al-Badry also said figures supplied by Iran show it producing around 3.7 million barrels a day. That is the same amount as Tehran pumped before international embargos on its crude that took effect this year and had been estimated to have cost it hundreds of thousands of barrels a day in sales.

Al-Badry spoke to reporters a day after OPEC ministers agreed to keep their daily crude production target unchanged at 30 million barrels. 

They also extended his term for a year after failing to agree on a successor for the post because of rivalries among member states.
OPEC, which accounts for about a third of the world’s oil production, is projecting a slight fall in demand for its crude next year, and world inventories are well stocked, in part because of resurgent production by the United State, which is tapping into oil extraction from shale.
The Paris-based International Energy Agency is predicting that America will be a net exporter of oil by the next decade and could overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s top crude producer by 2020. Analysts have suggested a looming dent in OPEC influence as a result.
But Al-Badry said his organization “is not really concerned” about any increase in world supply due to US shale extraction.
He questioned industry estimates that US shale extraction could amount to an extra 3 million barrels of oil a day within 20 years as well as forecasts of US energy independence. At the same time, he said any extra supply was welcome.
“It’s fine with us, it’s another source of energy and the world really needs this oil, I don’t see it as a threat to OPEC” he said.
His comments on Iranian production indicated that figures from other organizations may be off or that Tehran’s statistics might be inaccurate.
Oil exports from Iran have dropped this year as a result of international sanctions imposed due to concerns that Tehran may be seeking nuclear arms — something Iran denies. The International Energy Agency, which offers energy expertise to industrialized country, said last month that Iranian oil output was at a daily 2.7 million barrels in October.
But Al-Badry said Iran has told OPEC that it is producing 1 million barrels a day more than that, which would equal output before the embargoes took hold.
Ahead of Wednesday’s OPEC oil ministers’ meeting, Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Ghasemi played down the effects the sanctions were having on his country, claiming the Iranian state had cut its financial dependence on oil income by 20 percent in the last three years.
“Next year we will do the same,” he said.


KSA complains to FIFA about Qatar’s BeIN using World Cup as political tool

Updated 11 min 30 sec ago
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KSA complains to FIFA about Qatar’s BeIN using World Cup as political tool

  • The federation called on FIFA in its complaint to take severe sanctions against the Qatari channel and to abolish the rights granted to the network.
  • Some of the biggest names in Arab sport have signed a petition to protest against the “politicization” of World Cup coverage by the Qatar-owned broadcaster. 

DUBAI: The Saudi Football Federation has filed an official complaint to FIFA over the Qatar-owned BeIN Sports network’s use of World Cup broadcasts as a means of spreading political messages aimed at insulting Saudi Arabia and its leaders.

This falls within the network’s ongoing attempts to instigate hatred in the region, it said.

The federation said its complaint calls on FIFA to address the unacceptable abuse by the channel of its tools for politicizing the media. This was clear after the World Cup’s opening match between Saudi Arabia and Russia and contrary to the laws of the international federation, which stresses the need to exclude sport from politics.

The federation called on FIFA in its complaint to take severe sanctions against the Qatari channel and to abolish the rights granted to the network.

Meanwhile, some of the biggest names in Arab sport have signed a petition to protest against the “politicization” of World Cup coverage by the Qatar-owned broadcaster. 

The website sports4everyone.org created the petition and invited fans around the world to urge FIFA President Gianni Infantino to investigate the coverage by the Qatari broadcaster’s Arabic channel.

Among the signatories are Egyptian national football player Ahmed Hassan, Al Arabiya’s Sports Editor Battal Al-Goos, and former Saudi national team captain Yousuf Al-Thunayan.

BeIN Sports holds the rights to broadcast World Cup games across the Middle East and North Africa, although its channels are not available in Saudi Arabia, one of four Arab nations locked in a diplomatic dispute with Qatar over the latter’s alleged ties to terror groups. Doha denies the charges. 

“Sport rises above politics. FIFA tried to keep politics away from games. As fans, we are saddened by BeIN using its permission to telecast sports to transmit its political agenda, violating FIFA rules,” the petition read.

The petition website includes nine clips from BeIN Sports featuring pundits and presenters politicizing the match between Saudi Arabia and the host nation, Russia. 

In one of the station’s broadcasts, a commentator accused Saudi Arabia of “selling out the Palestinian cause,” while in another the host suggested the Kingdom’s top sporting officials will become “prisoners at the Ritz-Carlton,” a reference to the detentions in Riyadh during last year’s anti-corruption drive.

Egyptian media analyst Abdellatif El-Menawy said BeIN had “distorted the global football event” by using it as a political tool against Saudi Arabia.

“This is an infringement of the rules and standards of professional media,” El-Menawy told Arab News on Saturday. 

“BeIN Sports has abandoned neutrality and professionalism,” he added, saying the network’s coverage after Saudi Arabia’s 5-0 defeat by Russia was “gloating” and “sarcastic.”