Saudi oil minister salutes the ‘three Cs’ of oil stability — cuts, compliance, compensation

Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman. (AFP)
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Updated 20 August 2020

Saudi oil minister salutes the ‘three Cs’ of oil stability — cuts, compliance, compensation

  • OPEC+ oil producers had achieved “unprecedented” levels of compliance with the historic cuts in April

 DUBAI: Global oil markets are “on the path to rebalancing” as OPEC+, the alliance led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, sticks by its tough new regime to limit crude production, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman said on Wednesday.

The minister said the improved outlook was due to increased demand as pandemic-hit economies re-open, but also because of what he called “the three Cs — cuts, compliance and compensation.”

“The world now recognizes that OPEC+ has been instrumental in bringing stability to oil markets, the energy industry and the global economy,” he said at the monthly virtual meeting of energy ministers to monitor world oil markets. Some energy experts have predicted oil demand will be at 97 per cent of pre-pandemic levels this year.

OPEC+ oil producers had achieved “unprecedented” levels of compliance with the historic cuts in April, with average compliance reaching 97 per cent and some members — notably Iraq and Nigeria — hitting record levels.

Both countries have also agreed to compensate OPEC+ for past over-production to help eliminate the oil surplus, but Prince Abdul Aziz hinted that the compensation deal would be phased out as markets approached rebalance.

“We should endeavor to put this temporary compensation regime behind us, by clearing all the past over-production by end of September,” he said.

The meeting closed with the level of cuts, 7.7 million barrels per day, unchanged. In private session, delegatesstressed the need to comply 100 per cent with agreed cuts.

Prince Abdul Aziz said there were encouraging signs of rebalancing between oil supply and demand in the draw-down of global oil inventories, the reduction in “floating storage” in tankers, and a recovery in demand for gasoline and diesel in many countries, including Saudi Arabia.

He warned, however, that “the jury is still out” on how fast and uniform the global economic recovery would be because of the ongoing threat from COVID-19.

Oil prices took some heart from the OPEC+ gathering. Brent crude, the global benchmark, traded at $45.95, more than 2 per cent up.
 


Dubai’s Al-Habtoor Group to open representative office in Israel

Updated 20 September 2020

Dubai’s Al-Habtoor Group to open representative office in Israel

  • Al-Habtoor and Fogel both welcomed the landmark agreement that was signed on Sept. 15 in the US
  • The tycoon revealed his plans to open a representative office in Israel

DUBAI: Dubai’s Al-Habtoor Group (AHG) plans to open a representative office in Israel its chairman said, following an historic peace deal signed last week between the UAE and Israel to normalize relations.

Khalaf Ahmad Al-Habtoor, who is AHG founding chairman, welcomed Ampa Group’s co-owner, chairman and CEO Shlomi Fogel at the hospitality conglomerate’s Dubai headquarters. Ampa Group deals in real estate, finance and industry. 

Al-Habtoor and Fogel both welcomed the landmark agreement that was signed on Sept. 15 in the US. 

The UAE and Bahrain signed the Abraham Accords in a ceremony overseen by US President Donald Trump. The two Gulf countries join Egypt and Jordan as the only Arab nations to have full relations with Israel.

“I have been looking forward to this day for a very long time,” Al-Habtoor said. “I have always believed that Emiratis and Israelis have a lot in common. Both peoples are business-oriented and have relied on human talent and ambition more than their countries’ natural resources to build robust, innovative economies. The opportunities that this deal will present are great for both sides. I am confident this will open up new doors and lead to stronger economies, and closer cultural ties between the peoples.”

The tycoon revealed his plans to open a representative office in Israel and said that there was a lot of interest in collaboration.

“We have received a large number of inquiries for collaboration in several fields, ranging from AI and technology, to agriculture, hospitality and trading. The possibilities are endless for both sides in our diversified fields and new ones, and we want to be present to grasp them.”

He previously disclosed that AHG had started talks with Israeli domestic carrier Israir Airlines to open direct commercial flights, “and we are preparing to reveal a few collaborations in the coming days.”

Fogel said that peace would be cemented through successful business collaboration and trade. “Together with our Emirati counterparts we will show the way to live in peace to the rest of the world,” he added.

Fogel was accompanied at the meeting by Ampa Group executives, including Erez Katz and Saar Bracha.

AHG was represented at the meeting by Mohammed Al-Habtoor, Ahmad Al-Habtoor, Maan Halabi, Sanjeev Agarwala and other members of senior management.