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.


Misk Initiatives Center signs 12 deals to develop youth talent

Updated 31 min 26 sec ago

Misk Initiatives Center signs 12 deals to develop youth talent

  • MoUs with top firms such as Chinese tech giant Huawei, French oil major Total open new opportunities

RIYADH: The Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Foundation Misk Initiatives Center has signed 12 memorandums of understanding (MoU) on the sidelines of the Misk Global Forum in Riyadh with local and international companies to support and develop youth talent.

Among the companies were the Chinese tech giant Huawei, the French oil firm Total, the Emirati Federal Youth Authority, and the Ministry of Economy and Planning.

The agreements stipulated joint work between the two parties in the fields of talent development in Saudi Arabia and information and communications technology, in accordance with the National Transformation Program 2020 and the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. 

This initiative aims to find ways of cooperation and employment opportunities between the two parties.

The MoU signed between the center and the Emirati Federal Youth Authority provides for the enhancement of joint cooperation in support of youth. 

The two parties will seek to discuss future cooperation, to build a strategic partnership between the two parties in exploring potential cooperative opportunities and setting a framework for such cooperation, in addition to organizing the exchange of technologies and innovations through the joint organization of courses, forums and workshops.

The MoU aims at creating a specialized scientific dialogue between the two parties, conducting joint research at the institutes in the field of entrepreneurship and the skills of the future, considering launching joint initiatives, and examining the possibilities of cooperative programs based on the extensive experience of Misk and the Federal Youth Authority.

Misk’s Initiatives Center agreement with Total will promote joint cooperation, find training opportunities for Saudi talent at the company’s headquarters and facilities, and cooperate on educational programs that support entrepreneurship and an ecosystem for startup companies, especially in the fields of energy and technology.

The Misk Global Forum also witnessed the signing of a MoU with “Hub71” to promote learning and leadership among Saudi youth, and enhance opportunities for joint collaboration, in addition to two MoUs with 500 startups and seed stars “to promote joint cooperation between the two parties, to develop and grow the business of startups and provide them with the necessary
environment.”

Misk also signed a MoU with the Public Institution for Education and Global Leadership to promote joint cooperation and achieve the objectives of both sides, to support innovation initiatives that instill the entrepreneurial mindset of young people, as well as the establishment and organization of entrepreneurship approaches. 

Both parties agreed to focus on exploring potential collaborative opportunities related to the Entrepreneurship World Cup, and establish a competition with competitors coming from 170 countries.

Both parties also agreed to support international competitions aimed at identifying the best solutions in various fields and sectors, as well as exchanging programs on entrepreneurship and innovation.

The center has signed a MoU with the Saudi Industrial Development Fund to discuss the possibility of providing training programs and courses for the center’s employees of the Fund and the relevant authorities. In addition to discussing available opportunities for cooperative training within the Fund, and providing opportunities for participation and contribution of the Fund’s staff in Misk’s programs.

The MoU aims to explore the benefits of existing agreements between the two parties with international financial and educational institutions, in order to find opportunities that provide programs, training and educational courses, and granting cooperative trainings for Saudi youth in those global institutions.

The center also signed a MoU with the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), aiming to enhance joint cooperation on educational technology and its integration into the educational systems in the Islamic world.

An MoU with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) will enhance the cooperation between the two parties in several initiatives, including academic development, training, entrepreneurship and innovation programs.

An MoU with Endeavor Saudi Arabia will support the Kingdom’s youth, enhance their talents and potential, stimulate economic growth, and find ways of cooperation between the two parties that serve their common interests.

The center’s MoU with the Ministry of Economy and Planning aims to spread awareness, provide new information on the education and training of human resources in the administrative and economic fields, youth empowerment, and coordinate efforts to raise their abilities.

The MoU aims to create cooperative training opportunities in local and international institutions with the purpose of workforce growth in the Kingdom’s economic sector, contributing to the development of national competencies in the economy, policies and procedures, strategic planning, in addition to providing job opportunities for graduates from areas that serve the interests of both parties and support the achievement of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.