UAE announces major new oil, gas discoveries

ADNOC CEO Sultan Al-Jaber, right, said, ‘we are very pleased and honored to have enabled the UAE to move from the seventh to the sixth-largest oil and gas reserves in both global rankings.’ (Reuters)
Updated 04 November 2019

UAE announces major new oil, gas discoveries

  • The UAE’s Supreme Petroleum Council (SPC) said the new discoveries included seven billion barrels of crude oil and 58 trillion cubic feet of natural gas
  • That raised UAE crude oil reserves to 105 billion barrels, overtaking neighbor Kuwait for the world’s sixth largest oil deposits

ABU DHABI: The United Arab Emirates, a leading OPEC producer, on Monday announced “significant” oil and gas discoveries and launched a new pricing mechanism for Abu Dhabi flagship Murban crude.

The Gulf state’s highest energy decision-making body, the Supreme Petroleum Council (SPC), said the new discoveries included seven billion barrels of crude oil and 58 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

That raised UAE crude oil reserves to 105 billion barrels, overtaking neighbor Kuwait for the world’s sixth largest oil deposits, Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC) said in a statement.

Natural gas reserves were also boosted to 273 trillion cubic feet (7.7 billion cubic meters), ADNOC said. In addition, the UAE discovered about 160 trillion cubic feet of unconventional natural gas.

UAE pumps about three million barrels of oil per day (bpd) and produces some 10.5 billion cubic feet of raw natural gas, according to ADNOC.

“We are very pleased and honored to have enabled the UAE to move from the seventh to the sixth-largest oil and gas reserves in both global rankings,” said ADNOC CEO Sultan Al-Jaber.

The SPC also gave its approval to list ADNOC’s Murban crude oil on an internationally recognized exchange, with the goal of boosting the UAE’s position as an energy provider, particularly to fast-growing Asian markets.

“The initiative will enable our customers and other market participants to better price, manage and trade their purchases of Murban,” which pumps some 1.7 million bpd, Jaber said.

Last year, ADNOC granted concession rights in existing and new oilfields and earmarked some $132 billion to invest in the oil sector over the next five years.

ADNOC plans to boost crude output capacity to four million bpd in 2020 and to five million bpd a decade later.


Alibaba confirms huge Hong Kong public listing worth at least $13bn

Updated 15 November 2019

Alibaba confirms huge Hong Kong public listing worth at least $13bn

  • Over-allocation options could take the total value to more than $13 billion, making it one of the biggest IPOs in Hong Kong for a decade
  • Alibaba Chief Executive Officer said the group wanted to participate in Hong Kong’s future

HONG KONG: Chinese technology giant Alibaba on Friday confirmed plans to list in Hong Kong in what it called a $13 billion vote of confidence in the turbulent city’s markets and a step forward in its plans to go global.
The enormous IPO, which Hong Kong had lobbied for, will come as a boost for authorities wrestling with pro-democracy protests that have tarnished the financial hub’s image for order and security and hammered its stock market.
Alibaba will offer 500 million shares at a maximum of HK$188 apiece to retail investors, the company said. The number eight is considered auspicious in China.
Over-allocation options could take the total value to more than $13 billion, making it one of the biggest IPOs in Hong Kong for a decade after insurance giant AIA raised $20.5 billion in 2010.
Alibaba had planned to list in the summer but called it off owing to the city’s long-running pro-democracy protests and the China-US trade war. The US and China are now working on sealing a partial trade deal.
Daniel Zhang, Alibaba Chief Executive Officer, said the group wanted to “contribute, in our small way, and participate in the future of Hong Kong.”
“During this time of ongoing change, we continue to believe that the future of Hong Kong remains bright,” he said.
The firm’s shares are already traded in New York. A second listing in Hong Kong is expected to curry favor with Beijing, which has sought to encourage its current and future big tech firms to list nearer to home after the loss of companies such as Baidu to Wall Street.
In the statement, Zhang said that when Alibaba went public in 2014 it “missed out on Hong Kong with regret.”
Mainland authorities have also stepped up moves to attract such listings, including launching a new technology board in Shanghai in July.
The listing comes after the city’s exchange tweaked the rules to allow double listings, while Chief Executive Carrie Lam had also been pushing Alibaba’s billionaire founder Jack Ma to sell shares in the city.
“The listing in Hong Kong will allow more of the company’s users and stakeholders in the Alibaba digital economy across Asia to invest and participate in Alibaba’s growth,” the company said.
It has long been expected to launch a multibillion-dollar stock listing in Hong Kong but appeared to postpone the offering because of political and economic turmoil.
Hong Kong’s key Hang Seng Index rose 0.48 percent in morning trading following the announcement
Chinese shoppers set new records for spending on Monday’s annual 24-hour “Singles’ Day” buying spree, despite an economic slowdown in the country and the worries over the US trade war.
It said consumers spent $38.3 billion on its platforms over that stretch, up 26 percent from the previous all-time high mark set last year.
Alibaba also said it saw record amounts of cross-border sales, underlining its plans to expand globally.
“Globalization is the future of Alibaba Group. We firmly believe the marriage of digital technology and commerce will bring about unprecedented change that will not be limited by borders,” Zhang said.