Saudi energy think tank urges global cooperation

Under Saudi Arabia’s G20 presidency, leaders and central bank governors have agreed new measures to assist low-income countries struggling amid the coronavirus disease outbreak. (AFP)
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Updated 01 April 2020

Saudi energy think tank urges global cooperation

  • New study argues that global teamwork is the only resolution to the current oil market crisis

DUBAI: A prestigious Saudi Arabian energy think-tank has called for global co-operation to solve the crisis in global oil markets.

The King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) said that the “unprecedented disruption” of recent weeks on the world’s energy markets required “greater international co-operation with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).”
In a paper entitled “The world needs OPEC, but OPEC can’t go it alone,” the center argued that such co-operation was “the only short-term resolution to the current oil market crisis.”
The study comes amid moves in the international energy community for some form of combined approach by the three big producers — Saudi Arabia, the US and Russia — to stabilize markets.
In recent weeks there has been unprecedented energy volatility which has seen the price of crude fall by half on international markets amid record drops in demand for crude as national economies shut down because of restrictions to combat the coronavirus outbreak.
Energy experts have estimated that global demand for oil has fallen by at least 20 percent in the past month, and that storage facilities around the world are rapidly filling with crude.
Some big producers in the US are believed to be considering shutting oil facilities as prices in local markets reach “negative” levels, meaning that the oil companies pay customers to take crude away.


20% - Energy experts have estimated that global demand for oil has fallen by at least 20 percent in the past month.

The crisis began earlier this month when Saudi Arabia and Russia — the two leaders of the OPEC+ alliance of OPEC members and other producers — failed to agree new output restrictions at a meeting in Vienna.
Saudi Arabia responded by announcing big new production targets, with capacity set to reach 12.3 million barrels per day next month, and significant discounts to customers around the world. Russia and several other big producers in the UAE, Iraq and Nigeria also said they would be lifting their crude output.
“The result of no-deal was another blow to the market sentiment, which was already turning bearish in the face of the growing COVID-19 outbreak. Oil market volatility is now at an all-time high, with the turmoil in the global
financial system further exacerbating the situation and making it more difficult for OPEC and supporting countries to stabilize the market,” KAPSARC said.

UAE dives into Lake Manzala project

Updated 21 September 2020

UAE dives into Lake Manzala project

  • Egyptian campaign aims to return the lake to its previous state and revive local fishing industry

CAIRO: The UAE National Marine Dredging Company (NMDC) has announced that it won the rights to the expansion project of Lake Manzala in Egypt, valued at 600 million UAE dirhams ($163 million).

The company’s announcement of the new project came following a disclosure published on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange website. It ensures compliance with the principle of disclosure and transparency in force in the UAE.

Lake Manzala is one of Egypt’s largest natural lakes. It is known for its potential fishing opportunities, as it has the basis for high fish stocks due to natural nutrients and a moderate climate throughout the year. It produces about half of the natural fish production in lakes.

The lake has witnessed neglect in recent years, losing much of its importance and wealth. In May 2017 Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi launched a national project to develop Egyptian lakes, with a key focus on Lake Manzala.

NMDC said in a statement that winning the project came through its partnership with the Egyptian-Emirati Challenge Company. It said that it will take about two years to implement the project.

NMDC is one of the leading companies in the field of dredging, land reclamation and civil and marine construction in the Middle East. The Lake Manzala development project aims to improve the quality of water to restore free fishing and return the lake to its previous state, which will boost the local market and export output.

President El-Sisi said that Lake Manzala will contribute to enhancing Egypt’s fishing industry, and export operations will be activated after its full development. He directed the border governorates, in coordination with the Ministry of Interior and the Armed Forces, to remove all encroachments and criminal outposts on the lake.

Several days ago, Dakahlia governorate completed a difficult operation to remove encroachments on the lake. A large campaign that used Armed Forces Engineering Authority equipment removed 301 houses in the Abdo El-Salhy area in El-Matareya city, known as the “fishermen’s land,” which was built on areas that were filled in from the lake. The operation occurred after local fishermen were persuaded to obtain compensation for vacating their houses.

Magdy Zaher, executive director of Manzala Lake, said that the engineering authority used 320 excavators and 20 imported suction dredgers to work in the lake.

The authority dredged the upper islands isolated from the water with the help of an Emirati bulldozing company to increase the efficiency and purification of Lake Manzala.

Zaher said the lake project will require several steps.

The most important is the removal of encroachments on the water surface and doubling its area to 250,000 feddans, he said. Dredging and deepening the lake, opening the gates and extending the radial channels to allow Mediterranean waters to enter the lake will follow, he added.

A safety belt will come in the form of a road 80 km long and 30 meters wide, which will surround the lake and prevent future encroachments. It will also divert the course of the Bahr El-Baqar water treatment plant, which pours 12 million cubic meters of sanitary, industrial and agricultural drainage into the lake, Zaher said.