Oil falls as Saudi, Russian output rises

An oil pump is seen operating in the Permian Basin near Midland, Texas, US, May 3, 2017. (File photo: Reuters)
Updated 02 July 2018

Oil falls as Saudi, Russian output rises

  • Oil prices rose strongly last week, with the US crude contract hitting its highest in 3-1/2 years at $74.46
  • Despite the relief from Saudi Arabia and Russia, oil markets remain tense because of unplanned outages from Canada to Venezuela and Libya

LONDON: Oil prices fell on Monday as supplies from Saudi Arabia and Russia rose while economic growth stumbled in Asia amid an escalating trade dispute with the United States.
Benchmark Brent crude oil fell $1.24 a barrel to a low of $77.99 before recovering to $78.40, down 83 cents, by 0735 GMT. US light crude was 50 cents lower at $73.65.
Oil prices rose strongly last week, with the US crude contract hitting its highest in 3-1/2 years at $74.46.
But a flurry of US announcements over the weekend unsettled oil markets.
US President Donald Trump tweeted on Saturday that Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud had agreed to pump more oil, “maybe up to 2,000,000 barrels.” The White House later walked back on the comments.
Saudi Arabia’s output is up by 700,000 barrels per day (bpd) from May, a Reuters survey showed, and close to its 10.72 million bpd record from November 2016.
Russian output rose to 11.06 million bpd in June from 10.97 million bpd in May, the Energy Ministry said on Monday.
US production has soared 30 percent in the past two years, to 10.9 million bpd, meaning the world’s three biggest oil producers now churn out almost 11 million bpd each, meeting a third of global oil demand.
Also weighing on oil demand are trade disputes between the United States and other major economies including China, the European Union, India and Canada.
Asia’s main economic hubs of China, Japan and South Korea reported a slowdown in export orders in June amid escalating trade disputes with the United States.
“Recurring salvos in the trade war and falling asset prices raise the question of how much tariffs could damage the global economy,” US bank JPMorgan said.
The bank said a “medium-intensity (trade) conflict would likely reduce global economic growth by at least 0.5 percent, “before accounting for tighter financial conditions and sentiment shocks.”
Despite the relief from Saudi Arabia and Russia, oil markets remain tense because of unplanned outages from Canada to Venezuela and Libya.
Looming US sanctions against Iran further contribute to expected tightness.
Trump threatened in an interview that aired on Sunday to put sanctions on European companies that do business with Iran.
“The Trump administration’s plan for Iran sanctions is now abundantly clear. They seek to push Iranian exports of crude, condensate, and oil products to zero,” energy consultancy FGE said in a note.


Getting more women into leadership positions top priority: CEO

This June 23, 2018 photo, shows a general view of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (AP)
Updated 18 January 2020

Getting more women into leadership positions top priority: CEO

  • Saudi Arabia is focusing on the Business 20 (B20), making this one of the key engagement groups. Women in Business will be Saudi Arabia’s signature topic

RIYADH: The boss of one of Saudi Arabia’s biggest banks says that getting more women into leadership positions is a top priority.
Samba CEO Rania Nashar chairs the action council for Women in Business created by the Business Twenty (B20), which is the official G20 dialogue with the business community. It represents the global business community across all G20 member states and all economic sectors.
She said the council was set up to boost women’s particpation not only in business but also in global leadership positions.
During the launch of the B20 in Saudi Arabia this week, Nashar highlighted the under-representation of women in the economy.
“There is a gap of 27 percent between male and female workers; 75 percent of males are part of the labor force while only 48 percent of females are working,” she said.
She said it was important not to just talk about women as workers but as business owners.

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Saudi Arabia will host the 15th G20 Summit in Riyadh on Nov. 21-22, 2020.

“That’s why entrepreneurship is very fundamental to our task force,” she said.  “The majority of the finance development programs have incentives for giving loans to females; however, despite the fact that many large borrowers are females, the amount of loans granted to them is far below what is granted to males,” she added.
Nashar said that two-thirds of female business founders feel that they were not taken seriously by investors when they pitch for investments. They also feel that they are treated differently from their male counterparts.
Saudi Arabia will host the 15th G20 Summit in Riyadh on Nov. 21-22, 2020. The Kingdom is focusing on the Business 20 (B20), making this one of the key engagement groups. Women in Business will be Saudi Arabia’s signature topic.