Four Saudi students to compete at international science and engineering fair

Four Saudi students will represent the Kingdom at a major international science and engineering fair in the US later this year. (Supplied)
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Updated 19 February 2020

Four Saudi students to compete at international science and engineering fair

  • Intel ISEF is the world’s largest pre-college science competition
  • The four women from Jeddah were winners at the Kingdom’s National Olympiad for Scientific Creativity

RIYADH: Four Saudi students will represent the Kingdom at a major international science and engineering fair in the US later this year.

The four women from Jeddah were winners at the Kingdom’s National Olympiad for Scientific Creativity. They will be competing against more than 1,700 students from 77 countries at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) for more than $5 million in awards and scholarships.

The Saudi students traveling to Arizona in May are Dan Mohammed Al-Yafei and Tharaa Tariq Al-Dabbagh, who won an award at the olympiad in the field of science and the environment, and Lana Fahd Al-Abbasi and Zeina Tariq Maimani, who won in the field of physics and astronomy.

Intel ISEF is the world’s largest pre-college science competition and is an opportunity for young minds around the world to share ideas and showcase cutting-edge projects.

Intel ISEF says the winners are selected on their creative ability, scientific thought, as well as the thoroughness, skill and clarity shown in their projects.

Former Intel ISEF participant Wud Al-Saadoon won first place in the finals of the Kingdom’s National Olympiad for Scientific Creativity after working extensively on her project. She discovered her passion for science when she was in third grade, passing all aptitude tests for elementary, intermediate and high school and registering in Mawhiba enrichment programs starting from elementary school to high school.

“These programs allow students to enrol temporarily in a Saudi university,” she told Arab News. “This is how I participated as a high school student in the second olympiad program before I enrolled at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals.”

She specialized in renewable chemical energy and made a special device which won her third place in a local competition.

She then qualified for Intel ISEF, where she won fourth place in the field of chemical energy last year.


It was Russia, not Saudi Arabia, that pulled out of OPEC+ deal: Saudi ministers

Updated 04 April 2020

It was Russia, not Saudi Arabia, that pulled out of OPEC+ deal: Saudi ministers

  • Saudi foreign and energy ministers say Moscow's claim that Kingdom withdrew from the OPEC+ deal was unfounded
  • They said it was Russia that abandoned the agreement, leading to a collapse in world oil prices

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's foreign and energy ministers on Saturday denied Russia's claim that the Kingdom abandoned the OPEC+ deal, leading to a collapse in world oil prices.

In a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said "a statement attributed to one of the media of President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation claimed that one of the reasons for the decline in oil prices was the Kingdom's withdrawal from the deal of OPEC + and that the Kingdom was planning to get rid of shale oil producers."

"The minister affirmed that what was mentioned is fully devoid of truth and that the withdrawal of the Kingdom from the agreement is not correct," the statement said.

In fact Saudi Arabia and 22 other countries tried to persuade Russia to make further cuts and extend the deal, but Russia did not agree, it said.

Prince Farhan expressed surprise that Russia had to resort to "falsifying facts" when Saudi Arabia's stance on shale oil production is known, the statement said.

He pointed out that Saudi Arabia is one of the main investors in the energy sector in United States, implying that there is no reason for the Kingdom "to get rid of shale oil producers" as Russia has claimed.

He further said the Kingdom "is also seeking to reach more cuts and achieve oil market equilibrium for the interest of shale oil producers."

OPEC+ refers to the cooperation between members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC oil producers. The cooperation deal which called for cuts in production by the producers was meant to stabilize oil prices. 

In a separate statement, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman rejected Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak’s similar claim that the Kingdom refused to extend the OPEC+ deal and withdrew from it.

Novak "was the first to declare to the media that all the participating countries are absolved of their commitments starting from the first of April," Prince Abdulaziz said in a statement.

He said Novak's statement led other countries to decide "to raise their production to offset the lower prices and compensate for their loss of returns." 

On Thursday, Saudi Arabia called for an urgent meeting of oil exporters after US President Donald Trump said he expected the Kingdom and Russia to cut production by 10-15 million barrels per day.

Prince Farhan said he was "hoping that Russia would take the right decisions in the urgent meeting" so that a "fair agreement that restores the desired balance of oil markets" could be achieved.

The global oil market has crashed, with prices falling to $34 a barrel from $65 at the beginning of the year, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Fuel demand has dropped by roughly a third, or 30 million barrels per day, as billions of people worldwide restrict their movements.

A global deal to reduce production by as much as 10 million to 15 million barrels per day would require participation from nations that do not exert state control over output, including the United States, now the world’s largest producer of crude.

A meeting of OPEC and allies such as Russia has been scheduled for April 6, but details were thin on the exact distribution of production cuts. No time has yet been set for the meeting, OPEC sources said.