Fair oil price is in the eye of the beholder: Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdul Aziz

Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdul Aziz. (AFP)
Updated 15 October 2019

Fair oil price is in the eye of the beholder: Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdul Aziz

  • Comments made at Saudi-Russia CEO Forum while President Putin was visiting Riyadh
  • Oil price could have hit $130 per barrel after Sept. attacks, says Saudi Aramco chairman

RIYADH: Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman, the energy minister of Saudi Arabia, said that oil markets should focus on the “enabling price” for oil rather than a “fair price.” Speaking at the Saudi-Russia CEO Forum in Riyadh, the minister said that it was more important to focus on a price that would be sustainable to drive worldwide economic growth. “The ‘fair price’ is a cultural issue, and I have no idea where it should be. The fair price is in the eye of the beholder.”
He added: “It is more important to focus on sustainability than a fair price. A sustainable price enables you to provide economic growth and allows budgets to be more transparent and visible.”
Speaking of the OPEC+ alliance driven by Saudi Arabia and Russia, he said: “A lot of people focus on maximizing short-term income, but as the enablers in Russia and Saudi Arabia it allows us to focus on the long-term direction for sustainable development.”
Alexander Novak, energy minister of Russia, endorsed the view of his Saudi counterpart. He said that the OPEC+ agreement represented the first time in history that there had been a high level of cooperation between major producers to control oil output.
“Russia is ready to cooperate long term in OPEC+. We are going to take that agreement to the next level, which is the highest level,” he said.

The ‘fair price’ is a cultural issue, and I have no idea where it should be.

Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdul Aziz

Prince Abdul Aziz added that he believed current oil prices would be significantly lower if the OPEC+ agreement was not in effect. OPEC and non-OPEC members would be meeting regularly to monitor output by members. “We are willing to take all measures to maintain balance in the markets,” he said.
Yasir Al-Rumayyan, chairman of Saudi Aramco and governor of the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund, told delegates at the forum that the oil price could have hit $130 per barrel after the attacks on Abqaiq and Khurais last month, had they not been dealt with so quickly and efficiently.
“Had Aramco not got its production back, it would have led to a global recession,” he said.
Novak said that geopolitical risk had an effect on the global energy markets. In a reference to the effects of US sanctions and tariffs on the world economy, he said: “Geopolitics plays a role. You can see that now we are doing much less investment in the US, and much more in Asia and the Middle East.”
On the same panel, Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, downplayed the risks from security concerns in the Middle East.
“We saw how quickly Saudi Aramco recovered from the terrible attacks of last month. We believe that Middle Eastern tensions are overblown. What we are witnessing in Saudi Arabia is the fastest transformation of an economy in the history of mankind. The opportunity outweighs the political risk,” he said.

Arabic anime voice actors prepare for new show at Riyadh expo

Updated 17 November 2019

Arabic anime voice actors prepare for new show at Riyadh expo

  • Waheed Jalal's voice acting as “Treasure Island” antagonist John Silver has captivated generations

RIYADH: Visitors to Riyadh’s first anime expo stopped by the first panel on Saturday unaware that they would be leaving the stage with memories renewed of their favorite voice actors of all time.

Waheed Jalal and Jihad Al-Atrashi will forever live on in the hearts of fans of “Grendizer” and “Treasure Island (Takarajima),” the two shows that introduced the Arab world to anime in the 1970s.

Jalal, whose voice acting as “Treasure Island” antagonist John Silver has captivated generations, expressed how delighted he was to be with the audience.

“I want to thank you and your Kingdom of generosity and culture,” he said.

Al-Atrash, who portrayed Duke Fleed, echoed his sentiments: “You are great people with great values, thank you to the people of the Kingdom that stand next to people of all nations.”

Jalal was touched by the audience’s love and warm welcome, “You guys are the reason we continued this far, without you it wouldn’t have been possible,” he told them.

“We’re persevering to this day because people loved these characters we portrayed so much, our other works pale in comparison,” he added.

Jalal said that the reason “Grendizer” remained with so many people is because of the values and morals depicted in the show, teaching generations to be loyal and loving to their nation and their people.

Artist and creator Ibrahim Al-Lami. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)

The voice acting pair talked about the importance of speaking in formal Arabic in these shows. Jalal said it’s because “you’re presenting to the entire Arab world.”

Local dialects would be difficult for others to understand, so we must all aspire to perfect our formal Arabic, added Jalal.

Before concluding the talk, a teaser was played of the first Saudi anime “Makkeen” by artist and creator, Ibrahim Al-Lami, who announced that 60 percent of the work was completed through local efforts.

“We’ll introduce a new work that is by our people, written by our people and voiced by our people,” he said to the audience.

The work will feature characters voiced by Jalal and Al-Atrash, who have become symbolic to the Arab anime world. “I told them, this work wouldn’t be complete without you two,” said Lami on his choice of voice actors. “We want these works to see the light of day. We need to provide the new generations with tales of our own,” added Al-Atrash when asked why he wanted to partake in the anime.