Low oil prices ‘not Saudi Arabia's battle’

Updated 24 April 2016

Low oil prices ‘not Saudi Arabia's battle’

RIYADH: The Kingdom will cap its oil market share at about 10.3 mbd to 10.4 mbd if producers agree to the freeze, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said during an interview with Bloomberg at King Salman’s private farm in Diriyah on Thursday.

Bloomberg released the interview on Saturday, a day before a widely anticipated OPEC meeting in Doha.
“If all major producers don’t freeze production, we will not freeze production,” said the deputy crown prince, who has emerged as Saudi Arabia’s leading economic force. “If we don’t freeze, then we will sell at any opportunity we get.”
At least 15 nations, including Saudi Arabia and Russia, the two largest crude producers, will gather in Doha on April 17 to discuss freezing output to stabilize an oversupplied market.
He said Saudi Arabia’s commitment to a production cap would depend on Iran’s participation. Iran’s oil minister has dismissed the prospect of joining the deal as “ridiculous” for now.
“If prices went up to $60 or $70, that would be a strong factor to push forward the wheel of development,” he said. “But this battle is not my battle. It’s the battle of others who are suffering from low oil prices.”
The deputy crown prince also said that Saudi Arabia isn’t concerned because “we have our own programs that don’t need high oil prices.”
Still, he reiterated that OPEC will gain support once all members reach a collective decision.
A Russian official has said it was possible to reach a deal in Doha to freeze oil output regardless of Iran, whose crude shipments have risen by more than 600,000 barrels a day this month, according to Bloomberg.
Brent crude settled at $43.10 a barrel Friday in London, having rebounded by more than 50 percent from a 12-year low in January.
The Doha meeting follows a meeting in February between Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Russia and Venezuela in which the quartet tentatively agreed to cap their production at January’s level.
The Public Investment Fund is aimed at helping reduce the Kingdom’s dependency on oil. To achieve this, the fund is considering foreign opportunities and will seek a variety of investments. “So within 20 years, we will be an economy or state that doesn’t depend mainly on oil,” he said.
Earlier this month, the deputy crown prince announced plans to dedicate a $2 trillion fund for a post-oil economy in a separate interview with Bloomberg.

Preventive protocols issued as Saudi Arabia moves to relax curfew further

Updated 30 May 2020

Preventive protocols issued as Saudi Arabia moves to relax curfew further

RIYADH: As Saudi Arabia moved closer to Phase 2 of the gradual relaxation of coronavirus lockdown rules, the Ministry of Interior announced precautionary measures and preventive protocols for several sectors to follow.

The preventive protocols, prepared by the Ministry of Health,  covers the period from 8 Shawwal to 28 Shawwal 1441 in the Hijri calendar, corresponding to May 31 to June 20, 2020 in the Gregorian calendar.

A ministry official said the protocols are provided for mosques;  the public; petroleum, petrochemical and gas and other industries; malls and retail centers, home delivery service, among others.

The preventive protocols can be found at: https://covid19awareness.sa/archives/5460.

The MOI urged all citizens, expatriates and concerned authorities "to implement these procedures and abide by their provisions in order to preserve the safety of all".

Also on Saturday, the acting minister of economy and planning, Mohammad bin Abdullah Al-Jadaan, said the gradual lifting of the curfew "represents a new stage in the face of the global pandemic crisis and towards a gradual return to economic activities in the Kingdom to its normal levels."
"The decisions were taken after continuous coordination between the Ministry of Health and the concerned authorities, relying on a focused plan that seeks to balance between procedures for reopening economic activities and maintaining the stability of health and social conditions," said Jadaan, who is also the Kingdom's minister of finance.

Al-Jadaan highlighted that the government has increased – during the last period through the state’s general budget – spending on urgent and necessary requirements to face the crisis.

It has significantly strengthened the financial allocations for the Health and related services sector.

The government also launched urgent support initiatives to mitigate the impact on the private sector, supporting the economy and to preserve the jobs of citizens in economic establishments, he said in a statement carried by the SPA.