Saudi Arabia ‘comfortable’ with level of foreign reserves: SAMA

Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency Gov. Ahmed Alkholifey holds a press conference in Riyadh on Monday. (AFP)
Updated 14 November 2016

Saudi Arabia ‘comfortable’ with level of foreign reserves: SAMA

RIYADH: The Kingdom has a “very comfortable” level of foreign reserves, the chairman of Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) said.
Official figures show the kingdom’s reserves declined to $562 billion in August from $732 billion at the end of 2014.
“I think we are very comfortable. We have no issue with that,” SAMA Chairman Ahmed Alkholifey told a press conference.
Since 2014, global oil prices have collapsed by more than half, accelerating Saudi efforts to move away from petroleum which still accounts for the bulk of government income.
Saudi Arabia has taken a series of measures to cover its fiscal gap.
It has issued domestic bonds and in October raised $17.5 billion from the kingdom’s first international bond issue.
Earlier this year, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who heads the main economic coordinating body, announced a wide-ranging plan to move the economy away from oil.


Conflict-hit Libya to restart oil operations but with low output

Updated 10 July 2020

Conflict-hit Libya to restart oil operations but with low output

  • There is significant damage to the reservoirs and infrastructure
  • A first cargo of 650,000 barrels will be shipped by the Kriti Bastion Aframax tanker

TUNIS: Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) lifted force majeure on all oil exports on Friday as a first tanker loaded at Es Sider after a half-year blockade by eastern forces, but said technical problems caused by the shutdown would keep output low.
“The increase in production will take a long time due to the significant damage to reservoirs and infrastructure caused by the illegal blockade imposed on January 17,” NOC said in a statement.
A first cargo of 650,000 barrels will be shipped by the Kriti Bastion Aframax tanker, chartered by Vitol, which two sources at Es Sider port said had docked and started loading on Friday morning.
The blockade, which was imposed by forces in eastern Libya loyal to Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA), has cost the country $6.5 billion in lost export revenue, NOC said.
“Our infrastructure has suffered lasting damage, and our focus now must be on maintenance and securing a budget for the work to be done,” NOC chairman Mustafa Sanalla said in the statement.
Control over Libya’s oil infrastructure, the richest prize for competing forces in the country, and access to revenues, has become an ever-more significant factor in the civil war.
The internationally recognized Government of National Accord, supported by Turkey, has recently pushed back the LNA, backed by the United Arab Emirates, Russia and Egypt, from the environs of Tripoli and pushed toward Sirte, near the main oil terminals.