Saudi Arabia well equipped to sustain oil market share

Updated 28 January 2016

Saudi Arabia well equipped to sustain oil market share

JEDDAH: OPEC’s oil production is expected to rise by a further 500,000 barrels per day by Q4 2016 year-on-year, according to a report released by Jadwa Investment.
It said that the current period of low prices is set to remain throughout 2016, pulled down primarily as a result of persistently high oil supply. All-out competition between members of OPEC will be the main reason for continued oversupplied markets.
But Saudi Arabia remains well equipped to hold off any attempts of encroachment on its market share since it is currently the only major oil producer with spare oil production capacity, Jadwa economists added.
Saudi Arabia’s (3 percent of global oil demand) total crude consumption is expected to average 2.8 million barrels per day in Q4 2015 up 5 percent compared to the same period last year, states the Quarterly Oil Market Update released by Jadwa Investment this week.
The rise in oil demand is largely a result of the start up of the 400,000 barrels per day Yasref refinery which came online earlier in 2015.
Latest data shows that year-to-November 2015 crude demand was also at 2.8 million barrels per day, up 8 percent year-on-year, and slightly below our forecasted 2.9 million barrels per day for the full year 2015.
“We expect lower consumption in line with seasonal demand during cooler months in Q1 2016,” said the Jadwa research team.
“Looking further ahead in 2016, while demand for crude will increase as three new crude oil-powered electricity plants come online, higher domestic energy prices and increases in gas output will help keep consumption flat year-on-year,” said the report.
The Hasbah and Arabiyah gas fields will produce non-associated gas processed by the Wasit plant, said the Jadwa report.
“According to Saudi Aramco, the Wasit gas plant will add around 1.75 billion cubic feet of sales gas per day (bcf/d), which we expect will replace the use of more expensive industry diesel and crude oil in generating electricity,” said the economists.
According to the report, total oil output from OPEC rose by 5 percent in Q4 2015, year-on -year, as a result of large increases from Iraq (up 22 percent) and Iran (up 10 percent), which pushed the organization’s quarterly average to 32.5 million barrels per day.
OPEC production in December 2015 was 2 million barrels per day higher than the November 2014 total, when it switched to defending market share from its previous policy of cutting output to maintaining prices.
Jadwa economists believe that lower for longer oil prices will have a direct implication over the kingdom’s current account and fiscal budget.
“We have therefore revised down our forecast for the kingdom’s fiscal and external balances for 2016,” they said.
The fiscal deficit is now expected to reach SR402 billion (17.8 percent of GDP), up from SR313 billion forecasted previously, according to the report.
Imbedded in our new forecast is a sharper reduction in total government spending to SR890 billion, down from our earlier forecast of SR922 billion.
“This reduction in spending will likely be achieved by a stronger implementation of initiatives specified in the budget announcement, which included proposed reforms to improve budgetary procedures, and reviews to existing government projects,” said the Jadwa research team.
“While we now forecast spending to be lower for 2016, our forecast of a steeper decline in total revenue (from SR609 billion to SR488 billion) will mean that the deficit will widen in 2016,” the report added.
The lower spending by the government will cause the non-oil private sector to post a slower growth than previously anticipated.
“We therefore expect growth in non-oil private sector activity to slow down to 2.6 percent, compared to our previous forecast of 2.8 percent. However, we maintain our view that overall GDP will expand by 1.9 percent in 2016,” said the economists.
“We have revised down our forecast for the 2016 current account deficit from $40 billion (6.3 percent of GDP), to $72 billion (12 percent of GDP),” they said.
“As a result of the decline in prices, we think 2016 oil export revenues will fall to their lowest levels since 2003 to reach $101 billion. We expect both non-oil exports and imports to rise marginally compared to their 2015 levels,” said the Jadwa researchers.
The deficit in the services account will meanwhile shrink as a result of lower expected demand for services during 2016.
“We have also revised our forecast for inflation to 3.9 percent, up from 2.5 percent previously. The recent increase to energy and water prices will likely put pressure on prices of multiple components of the headline index, including the housing, electricity, and water, and the transport components,” said the Jadwa economists.


Russia’s Lukoil lifts Iraq output as it swings to profit

Updated 25 November 2020

Russia’s Lukoil lifts Iraq output as it swings to profit

  • Lukoil claims to account for about 2 percent of global oil production

MOSCOW: Russian oil producer Lukoil said on Tuesday that it had reversed a loss into a profit of 50.4 billion roubles ($664 million) in the third quarter thanks to a rise in oil prices, while it had boosted oil output in Russia and Iraq.

Lukoil has faced a pandemic fallout as well as a weaker rouble, which has inflated its debt, denominated in foreign currencies. The company’s output has been also constrained by a global deal on production curbs.

The company had finished the second quarter with a loss of 18.7 billion roubles.

Lukoil said on Tuesday that it had started to boost its output at West Qurna-2 oil field in Iraq from the middle of October, by around 30,000 barrels per day (bpd), after cuts of around 70,000 bpd from May 1 and by 50,000 bpd more from mid-June, in accordance with the deal.

Lukoil, whose largest shareholders are its head, Vagit Alekperov, and vice president Leonid Fedun, also said it had raised its oil output in Russia.

The company said sales rose to 1.46 trillion roubles in the July — September quarter from 986.4 billion roubles in April-June.

The growth was mainly attributable to higher hydrocarbon prices, higher production of refined products at the group’s refineries, as well as higher trading and retail sales volumes, Lukoil said in a statement.

The company also began to recover its natural gas production in Uzbekistan in September.