Oil prices stabilize as Saudi crown prince talks peace

Workers inspect a pipeline at Saudi Aramco's oil facility in Khurais that was damaged during a drone and missile attack by suspected Iranian terrorists on Sept. 14. (REUTERS)
Updated 01 October 2019

Oil prices stabilize as Saudi crown prince talks peace

  • Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman called for diplomatic solutions to the crisis with Iran and the war in Yemen
  • He expressed his views in an interview with CBS News on Tuesday

JEDDAH: Oil prices stabilized on Monday after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman called for diplomatic solutions to the crisis with Iran and the war in Yemen.
Armed conflict with Iran would be catastrophic for global growth, the crown prince said. “Oil supplies will be disrupted and prices will jump to unimaginably high numbers that we haven’t seen in our lifetimes. This means a total collapse of the global economy, and not just Saudi Arabia or the Middle East.
“The political and peaceful solution is much better than the military one.”
The price of oil had been edging upwards after an attack on Saudi oil facilities last month, widely blamed on Iran. Prices fell by 1 percent on Monday after the crown prince spoke.
In an interview with journalist Rosie O’Donnell on the CBS show “60 Minutes,” he also answered tough questions on the war in Yemen, the treatment of Saudi women in jail and the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
“If Iran stops its support of the Houthi militia, then the political solution would be much easier,” the crown prince said. “Today we open all initiatives for a political solution in Yemen.”
The crown prince was pressed on claims that Saudi female activists had been tortured in prison, which he promised to investigate.
“If this is correct, it is very heinous,” he said. “Islam forbids torture. The Saudi laws forbid torture. Human conscience forbids torture. And I will personally follow up on this matter.”
Khashoggi’s murder last year in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul was “a heinous crime,” he said.
“But I take full responsibility as a leader in Saudi Arabia, especially since it was committed by individuals working for the Saudi government. This was a mistake. And I must take all actions to avoid such a thing in the future.”
Khashoggi’s son Salah said on Monday his father’s death was being exploited by enemies of Saudi Arabia and its leadership, and he had the “utmost confidence in the Kingdom’s justice system.”
“My father … never tolerated any abuse or attempt to harm (the Kingdom), and I will not accept his memory or his cause being taken advantage of to achieve that,” he said.

Egypt signs lucrative gas deals

Updated 44 min 50 sec ago

Egypt signs lucrative gas deals

  • Five agreements were signed during the last fiscal year

CAIRO: The Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) has signed eight research and exploration agreements with investments of $934 million.

Five agreements were signed during the last fiscal year and three others during the first quarter of this fiscal year.

Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El-Molla said that the integrated strategy adopted by the ministry to develop Egypt’s natural gas resources has succeeded in recording the highest rates of natural gas production in the history of the country, achieving gas self-sufficiency and resuming exports.

He said that natural gas plays a significant role in achieving economic returns, in addition to attracting new international companies to work in the field of research and exploration in Egypt.

El-Molla said a project to transform Egypt into a regional center for the handling and trade of gas and oil is being planned.

The minister stressed the importance of implementing the national project for providing natural gas to all Egyptian governorates and citizens.

Magdy Galal, EGAS head, reviewed the development of natural gas production rates during the past five years and the efforts to confront the natural decrease of wells.

He said that during the recent fiscal year, the company signed a total of five agreements. On top of the $934 million in investments, there were also signing grants worth $51 million.

He added that the company has 37 ongoing agreements, a result of a Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources strategy, which attracted new investments and the entry of Exxon Mobil and Chevron in the field of research and exploration in Egypt, and an increase in investments from companies such as Shell and Total.

He said the company is finalizing six other agreements with investments of $731 million and $14 million in signing grants.