Saudi energy minister says oil output to be fully restored by end of the month

Saudi Energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Saudi Arabia would keep its role as the secure supplier of global oil markets. (AN photo Adnan Mehdli)
Updated 20 September 2019

Saudi energy minister says oil output to be fully restored by end of the month

  • Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said Saudi Arabia will continue as secure supplier of global oil markets
  • Oil prices dropped about six percent Tuesday after the energy minister's comments

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia said Tuesday its oil output will return to normal by the end of September, seeking to soothe rattled energy markets after attacks on two instillations that slashed its production by half.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman told a press conference in Jeddah that half of the production knocked out by the attacks was already back up and running. He said the Kingdom had dipped into its stored reserves to ensure supply continued as normal.

"Over the past two days we have contained the damage and restored more than half of the production that was down as a result of the terrorist attack," said the minister.

"I have good news for you... the oil output to international markets is back to what it was before the attack," he said.

The Prince said Saudi Arabia would keep its role as the secure supplier of global oil markets. He added that the Kingdom, the world’s leading oil exporter, needs to take strict measures to prevent further attacks.

“Where would you find a company in this whole world that went through such a devastating attack and came out like a phoenix?” he said

Oil prices dropped about six percent Tuesday after the energy minister’s comments, steadying markets that had jumped amid concerns of supply and instability in the region.

The attacks on Saturday on the Abqaiq processing plant and Khurais oil field halved the Kingdom’s production and shut off about five percent of global oil output.

The Kingdom will achieve 11 million barrels per day (bpd) capacity by the end of September and 12 million bpd by the end of November, Prince Abdulaziz.

Oil production in October would be 9.89 million bpd and the world’s top oil exporter would keep full oil supplies to customers this month, he said.

“We don’t know who is behind the attack,” Prince Abdulaziz said, adding that the kingdom wants “proof based on professionalism and internationally recognised standards.”

The US has blamed Iran for the attack and sent Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Saudi Arabia amid heightened tensions.

Saudi Arabia’s defense ministry is to present evidence on Wednesday of Iranian involvement, as well as weapons used, in the attacks. 

Aramco chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan said the attacks would not effect the upcoming IPO of his company.

Chief Executive Amin Nasser said the company was still in the process of estimating repair work but that it was “not that significant.”

“We had to deal with an unprecedented attack,” he said. “We had to tackle 10 fires raging simultaneously — three in Khurais and seven in Abqaiq. It took us less than seven hours to put these fires out, which is amazing considering that we were dealing with hydrocarbons, gas and oil.”

He added that production at Khurais resumed only 24 hours after the attack and has gradually increased since then. Production at Abqaiq is at 2 million bpd, with output expected to be restored to prior levels by the end of September.

“These synchronized attacks were timed to create maximum damage to our facilities and operations,” said Nasser. “The rapid response and resilience demonstrated in the face of such adversity shows the company’s preparedness to deal with threats aimed at sabotaging Aramco’s supply of energy to the world.”

Praising the efforts of emergency-response teams, including firefighters and operations and security personnel, in coordination with government agencies, he added: “I am enormously proud of the courage, dedication and proficiency of our people, who ensured there were no injuries. We have a hard-earned reputation for nearly 100 percent reliability in terms of meeting our international customers’ requirements and we have defended that.”

Aramco ensured deliveries would continue by drawing on inventories and offering additional crude production from other fields.

“Not a single shipment to an international customer has been or will be missed or canceled as a result of these attacks,” said Nasser. “We have proven that we are operationally resilient and have confirmed our reputation as the world’s leading supplier.”

• With AFP, AP and Reuters

 


Snap happy: Every face tells a story for Saudi photographer

Updated 23 min 49 sec ago

Snap happy: Every face tells a story for Saudi photographer

  • “There is something majestic about people’s faces, their expressions,” says Abdullah Al-Joghiman

DHAHRAN: Saudi portrait photographer Abdullah Al-Joghiman has a message for everybody: You are beautiful just the way you are.

If you don’t believe him, let him take your picture.

“Even if you’re not photogenic, or think you look bad in pictures, I can always turn your frown upside down,” he said.

Al-Joghiman is a full-time financial analyst for the Saudi Electricity Co., but allows plenty of time for his work as a freelance portrait and event photographer on the side.

“I started off doing landscape photography, but I love portrait photography more. Landscape photographers have to travel a lot, and I wasn’t able to commit to that lifestyle for many reasons. But since I was a child I’ve always loved taking pictures of people. There is something majestic about people’s faces, their expressions,” he told Arab News.

The 34-year-old was born in Al-Hofuf and now lives in Dammam, but his passion for photography has taken him all over the Kingdom and to other areas of the world.

Al-Joghiman at the 2018 Middle East Film and Comic Con in Dubai. (Supplied)

Al-Joghiman has been asked to shoot for local events such as Gamers’ Con and internationally at conventions in Kuwait, Singapore and the UAE. In 2019, he was commissioned to photograph the World Cosplay Summit in Japan, traveling with a Saudi team competing at the event for the first time.

“It was amazing, I met people from around 20 countries who came to take part,” he said. “It was a great experience.”

Completely self-taught, Al-Joghiman caught the photography bug at college and has been training himself ever since. “I’ve been dabbling in photography since high school, but I started taking it more seriously in college. I’ve been shooting professionally since 2012 or 2013,” he said.

Al-Joghiman started off humbly, with a camera-centric smartphone, but has since expanded his collection significantly, and now shoots with a variety of high-tech cameras from Sony. Now he is attracting interest from both local and international sponsors, especially in the gaming and cosplay areas.

“Cosplayers are kind of difficult to shoot because they can be perfectionists, but I love seeing the joy on their faces when they see the final pictures. That makes it worthwhile,” he said.

Al-Joghiman is happy that social restrictions on photography in Saudi Arabia are easing, allowing him to find more opportunities to do the work he loves.

“It’s difficult to take pictures of people here, especially strangers, but I can’t really blame them, considering that they are not really used to that in our culture. But things are changing and it’s much easier to be a photographer in Saudi Arabia now,” he said.

HIGHLIGHT

Abdullah Al-Joghiman has been asked to shoot for local events such as Gamers’ Con and internationally at conventions in Kuwait, Singapore and the UAE. In 2019, he was commissioned to photograph the World Cosplay Summit in Japan, traveling with a Saudi team competing at the event for the first time.

He is grateful for the Ministry of Culture’s efforts to revive the Kingdom’s art scene, and has long hoped that photography will become more regulated in the country.

“The market for photography and videography really needs to be regulated. It’s hard enough putting a price on one’s work without scoping out the competition and finding that someone else is charging thousands for just a headshot when I’m doing shoots for two or three hundred,” he said.

“I love my work, and I’d love to be able to do it for free, but at the end of the day I still need to eat,” he said.

Al-Joghiman doesn’t want to limit anyone else’s opportunities but simply wants the playing field evened out a little.

“As a photographer, I just want a fair chance for everyone. More importantly, a client should know exactly what they are paying for,” he said.

His advice to young Saudis looking to become photographers is this: “If you pursue photography, don’t worry. Just do what you love, and if people tell you that they don’t look good in pictures, convince them by taking a picture of them.”

AlJoghiman’s work can be found on Instagram and Twitter (@finalecco), and on his website, https://www.eccofantasyph.com