OPEC, allies to keep oil market stability beyond 2020

A poor economic outlook has depressed oil prices. (Reuters)
Updated 15 October 2019

OPEC, allies to keep oil market stability beyond 2020

  • Compliance with production quotas among OPEC and its allies was at 136 percent, says Barkindo

NEW DELHI: OPEC and its allies are committed to maintaining oil market stability beyond 2020, with physical supplies relatively tight globally, OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo said on Tuesday.

He added that compliance with production quotas among OPEC and its allies was at 136 percent, curbing global supplies, while production growth in North America including US shale basins was decelerating.

OPEC, Russia and other oil producer allies, a grouping known as OPEC+, have pledged to cut production by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) until March 2020 to support oil prices. The producers are scheduled to meet again on Dec. 5-6.

“I have been hearing a resounding chorus from all the players that they are determined not to allow a relapse to the downturn that we just navigated out of,” Barkindo told the India Energy Forum by CERAWeek, referring to a period of low oil prices in 2014-2015 that had led OPEC to cut output. 

“They will do whatever is possible within their powers to ensure relative stability is sustained beyond 2020,” he said.

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OPEC, Russia and other oil producer allies, a grouping known as OPEC+, have pledged to cut production by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) until March 2020.

In its latest monthly report for October, OPEC trimmed its forecast for world economic growth in 2020 to 3 percent from 3.1 percent. The report stated: “It seems increasingly likely that the slowing growth momentum in the US will carry over to 2020.”

A poor economic outlook has depressed oil prices, with Brent down about 22 percent from its 2019 peak of $75.60 a barrel reached on April 25.

The US-China trade war is affecting the global economy and oil demand, and financial markets have an increasingly bearish view of economic growth, Barkindo said.

Still, India remains a major driver of global oil demand with growth of 127,000 bpd in August, he said.


Saudi defense contractor to invest up to $16 million to further localize services

Updated 18 November 2019

Saudi defense contractor to invest up to $16 million to further localize services

DUBAI: Saudi-based defense contractor Middle East Propulsion Company (MEPC) plans to invest between $13 million and $16 million over the next two years to build test cells for aircraft engines and establish new production lines.
These expansion activities should complement the company’s objective to localize high-tech repairs and combine them in one roof for the Saudi defense ministry, which is a major customer, CEO Abdullah Al-Omari told Arab News.
Instead of sending aircraft engines and engines modules overseas for further servicing, thus take up more time before military assets return to actual service, localization not only cuts the turn-around period but also reduces Saudi government spending for the repairs.
“We have accomplished more than 1,600 engine and engine modules [since 2001, they] have been maintained totally in Saudi Arabia,” Al-Omari said at the sidelines of the Dubai Airshow. “The engines consume 45 percent of what you spend on aircraft.”
The company works on 150 to 160 engines and engine modules every year.
MEPC is the first specialized MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) company operating in the Middle East, according to its website. It has invested over $26 million during the previous two years for the localization of its MRO services.
“We used to send these parts to outside, it takes 6 months to 24 months sometimes … in case of the Apache engines, minimum turn around is 24 months,” Al-Omari said, but their localization efforts have greatly improved their capability by cutting the turn-around period to only 150 days.
The speed at which MEPC is able to repair engines and modules, boosts the readiness of Saudi military, Al-Omari added.
The company is in talks with major defense contractors, including Honeywell for the Abrams talks and GE T700 engines, for possible tie-ups to further improve their capability, he said.
“Currently there is a potential with the Kuwait army to provide them with similar services [being delivered to the Saudi defense ministry],” Al-Omari said, and expects that cooperation would start “within the next two years or so.”