Kuwait to issue virtual telecom operator license

A photo taken on December 19, 2014 from the top of al-Hamra Tower shows a view of Kuwait City. (AFP)
Updated 15 July 2019

Kuwait to issue virtual telecom operator license

  • Foreign ownership would be subject to Kuwaiti law, which restricts non-Kuwaitis to minority ownership

DUBAI: Kuwait is to issue a virtual telecom operator license, effectively creating a fourth player in a market serving roughly 4 million people.
Virtual network operators do not own the networks they use to provide communications services but instead lease capacity from conventional operators, usually paying them a percentage of their revenue as well as fees.
Kuwait’s Communications and Information Technology Regulatory Authority has issued a request for applications for the license, according to a document seen by Reuters.
State news agency KUNA also reported a license would be granted.

HIGHLIGHTS

• With the issuance of a license, a fourth player will be created in the Kuwaiti market.

• Applications must be submitted by Nov. 14, 2019.

• The selected application will be announced by Feb. 6, 2020.

• Kuwait’s current telecom providers are Zain, Ooredoo, and Viva.

Applications must be submitted by Nov. 14, 2019 and the selected application will be announced by Feb. 6, 2020, the document shows.

Conditions
The applicant will have to partner with a company that can provide it with the technology, know-how and operational and management experience.
The partner will also own at least 40 percent of shares and have a five-year management agreement. Kuwait’s current telecom providers are Zain, Ooredoo, and Viva. Kuwait’s existing telecom providers, as well as anyone holding 25 percent or more shares in Kuwaiti telecom companies, are not allowed to apply.
Foreign ownership would be subject to Kuwaiti law, which restricts non-Kuwaitis to minority ownership.


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.