Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt turn to top UN court in airspace feud with Qatar

A Qatar Airways Boeing 777-300 is moved on the Tarmac of Le Bourget airport on June 18, 2017. (AFP)
Updated 27 June 2018

Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt turn to top UN court in airspace feud with Qatar

  • Both sides, the quartet and Qatar, are turning to the International Court of Justice in the Hague to hear their grievances
  • The quartet decided to submit the airspace case to the ICJ on the grounds that the International Civil Aviation Organisation was not competent to consider the dispute

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt said Wednesday they would file a complaint at the highest UN court against Qatar over alleged airspace violations.
Both sides, the quartet and Qatar, are turning to the International Court of Justice in the Hague to hear their grievances.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt decided to submit the airspace case to the ICJ on the grounds that the International Civil Aviation Organisation was not competent to consider the dispute, Saudi and UAE state media said.
The UAE has filed two complaints with the ICAO over what Qatar’s rivals say are airspace violations that threaten civil aviation.
The UAE accuses Qatar of sending fighter jets to intercept passenger flights and a civilian helicopter in Bahraini airspace.
Doha has denied approaching any UAE-operated flights.
The Saudi-led bloc cut off relations with Qatar on June 5, 2017, accusing it of supporting terrorism and Iran, which Doha denies.
Qatar has also filed a case at the ICJ accusing the UAE of human rights violations.
Judges at the court in The Hague - which rules in disputes between countries - will start a three-day hearing at Doha’s request on Wednesday.
The row has left the small peninsula nation regionally isolated with its only land border closed, its state-owned airline barred from using its neighbours’ airspace.

 


Russia vows cooperation with OPEC to keep oil market balanced

Updated 21 November 2019

Russia vows cooperation with OPEC to keep oil market balanced

  • Moscow not aiming to be world’s No.1 crude producer, Putin tells annual investment forum

MOSCOW: President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) have “a common goal” of keeping the oil market balanced and predictable, and Moscow will continue cooperation under the global supply curbs deal.

OPEC meets on Dec. 5 in Vienna, followed by talks with a group of other exporters, including Russia, known as OPEC+.

“Our (common with OPEC) goal is for the market to be balanced, acceptable for producers and consumers and the most important — and I want to underline this — predictable,” Putin told a forum on Wednesday.

In October, Russia cut its oil output to 11.23 million barrels per day (bpd) from 11.25 million bpd in September but it was still higher than a 11.17-11.18 million bpd cap set for Moscow under the existing global deal. Putin told the forum that Russia’s oil production was growing slightly despite the supply curbs deal but Moscow was not aiming to be the world’s No. 1 crude producer. Currently, the US is the world’s top oil producer.

“Russia has a serious impact on the global energy market but the most impact we achieve (is) when working along with other key producers,” he said. “There was a moment not that long ago when Russia was the world’s top oil producer — this is not our goal.”

Russia plans to produce between 556 million and 560 million tons of oil this year (11.17-11.25 million bpd), Energy Minister Alexander Novak said separately on Wednesday, depending on the volume of gas condensate produced during cold months.

Russia will aim to stick to its commitments under the deal in November, Novak told reporters.

Russia includes gas condensate — a side product also known as a “light oil” produced when companies extract natural gas — into its overall oil production statistics, which some other oil producing countries do not do.

As Russia is gradually increasing liquefied natural gas production (LNG), the share of gas condensate it is producing is also growing. Gas condensate now accounts for around 6 percent of Russian oil production.

Novak told reporters that in winter, Russia traditionally produces more gas condensate as it is launching new gas fields in the freezing temperatures.

“We believe that gas condensate should not be taken into account (of overall oil production statistics), as this is an absolutely different area related to gas production and gas supplies,” he said.

Three sources told Reuters on Tuesday that Russia is unlikely to agree to deepen cuts in oil output at a meeting with fellow exporters next month, but could commit to extend existing curbs to support Saudi Arabia.

On Wednesday, Novak declined to say that Russia’s position would be at upcoming OPEC+ meeting. Reuters uses a conversion rate of 7.33 barrels per ton of oil.