OPEC says general oil market outlook is positive as energy industry gathers

OPEC says general oil market outlook is positive as energy industry gathers
A 3D printed oil pump jack in front of the OPEC logo. (Reuters)
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Updated 02 March 2021

OPEC says general oil market outlook is positive as energy industry gathers

OPEC says general oil market outlook is positive as energy industry gathers
  • Resilient Asia supports oil demand
  • OPEC+ to meet on Thursday

LONDON: OPEC sees the oil market’s outlook as positive in general and the uncertainty that dominated last year is easing, the group’s secretary general said.
“This is a major turnaround from a year ago,” Mohammad Barkindo was quoted as saying on Twitter on Tuesday.
He added that positive global economic developments and resilient demand in Asia were encouraging.
Barkindo spoke ahead of joint technical committee (JTC) meeting for the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies led by Russia, a group know as OPEC+.
The JTC reviews oil market supply and demand balances as well as compliance of members of the alliance with the agreed cuts.
“It looks good and healthy,” an OPEC delegate said, referring to the latest supply and demand balance for 2021.
“But there are still some thoughts to be cautious,” he added.
Oil company executives at CERAWeek by IHS Markit said that crude demand will rise over the coming decade and that the fossil fuel will remain a crucial part of the energy mix even as renewables draw increasing attention.
Climate change and renewable fuels are taking center stage at this year’s gathering of energy leaders, investors and politicians from around the globe, with oil companies trying to reorient their portfolios after the coronavirus pandemic eroded demand and caused the loss of thousands of jobs.
The industry scaled back investments and cut budgets as prices crashed in 2020, but investments are likely to rebound by next year, said Lorenzo Simonelli, chief executive officer of oil services company Baker Hughes.
“Hydrocarbons are still going to be essential for providing energy to the world,” Simonelli said. “Especially as you look at the near-term future.”
Oil demand may continue to climb over the next decade even as countries work to comply with the Paris climate agreement’s goals for cutting emissions, said Hess Corp. CEO John Hess.
“We don’t think peak oil is around the corner — we see oil demand growing for the next 10 years,” said Hess.
“We’re not investing enough to grow oil and gas in the future,” he said, saying that prices would need to rise to support that investment.


Bitcoin fund to get Dubai listing

Bitcoin fund to get Dubai listing
Updated 3 min 32 sec ago

Bitcoin fund to get Dubai listing

Bitcoin fund to get Dubai listing
  • The shares are expected to start trading on Nasdaq Dubai in the second quarter

DUBAI: Canadian digital asset management firm 3iQ has received regulatory clearance for a dual listing of the Bitcoin Fund on Nasdaq Dubai, making it the Middle East’s first indexed cryptocurrency digital asset-based fund, 3iQ’s chief executive said.
The Bitcoin Fund, which was listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange last year, has roughly $1.5 billion in assets under management and plans to manage double that next year, Frederick Pye, chairman and CEO of 3iQ, told Reuters in an interview.
“The idea is bitcoin trades 24 hours a day ... so our interest is to bring a regulated product to the Dubai market in their time hours,” Pye said.
The shares are expected to start trading on Nasdaq Dubai in the second quarter. Pye said 3iQ is already in talks with exchanges in Singapore, Taiwan, Sweden and the United States to list the Bitcoin Fund in those markets, eventually aiming for cryptocurrency trading around the clock.
Dalma Capital, a Dubai-based alternative investment firm, was 3iQ’s syndicate manager for the fund’s Middle East expansion. Corporate finance adviser 01 Capital and investment firm Razlin Capital, both London-based, advised on the listing and Pinsent Masons was legal counsel for the listing process.
“We believe that this is the opportune moment to expand this unique investment opportunity into the Middle East region,” said Pye.
Institutional investors including sovereign wealth funds have expressed interest in the listing, said Zachary Cefaratti, CEO of Dalma Capital Management.
“There’s just been a lot of grassroots demand for it. Historically, investors who tried to invest in bitcoin through their regional banks ... in a lot of cases, if the banks found out they were sending money to cryptocurrency exchanges, they would actually close their accounts. So this is a huge shift and a huge change,” Cefaratti said.


Dubai Aerospace orders 15 Boeing 737 MAX jets

Dubai Aerospace orders 15 Boeing 737 MAX jets
Updated 23 min 32 sec ago

Dubai Aerospace orders 15 Boeing 737 MAX jets

Dubai Aerospace orders 15 Boeing 737 MAX jets
  • Follows 737 grounding after 2018/19 crashes
  • UAE lifted its ban on the aircraft this year

DUBAI: Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE), one of the world’s biggest leasing companies, on Tuesday announced an order for 15 Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets worth $1.8 billion at list prices.
The order signals a further show of confidence in the narrow-body jet, which had its nearly two-year safety ban in the United States lifted late last year. The United Arab Emirates lifted their ban this year.
“We are confident in the success of these aircraft as domestic and regional air travel is seeing strong signs of recovery,” DAE CEO Firoz Tarapore said in a statement.
The 737 MAX jets were grounded globally following fatal crashes in 2018 and 2019.


Morocco to attract foreign renewable energy investment

Morocco to attract foreign renewable energy investment
Updated 32 min 20 sec ago

Morocco to attract foreign renewable energy investment

Morocco to attract foreign renewable energy investment
  • Morocco is working to attract investments in green hydrogen

RIYADH: More than 260 industrial projects have been supplied with new energy during the last three years in Morocco, Asharq Business reported, citing Energy Minister Aziz Rabbah.

A massive water scheme launched by Morocco, which extends over the next five years with investments exceeding $13 billion, will include a number of desalination plants powered by renewables, he said.
Rabbah said that the ministry was also working to attract investments in green hydrogen.
“This investment is accompanied by the development and diversification of the electric power network at the national level and the electrical connection with neighboring markets, based on the open market for electricity, which receives annual investments of about $1 billion,” he said.
Two laws related to the energy sector have been issued, he said — one for hydrogen investments and the other for self-production that allows citizens to produce the electricity they need.
“The legislative reforms that have taken place in the Moroccan energy sector are part of a comprehensive system of reform adopted by the Kingdom of Morocco to create an attractive business environment for investment in all sectors,” he explained.
“Taxes were reviewed, and administrative procedures related to investment were simplified and digital technology has been introduced to boost investors confidence,” he added.
The minerals sector has been restructured and over 3,300 licenses have been issued, with strong demand from local and international companies, Rabbah said.


Emirates NBD profits rise as it expands Saudi branch network

Emirates NBD profits rise as it expands Saudi branch network
Updated 56 min 23 sec ago

Emirates NBD profits rise as it expands Saudi branch network

Emirates NBD profits rise as it expands Saudi branch network
  • The bank reported a net profit of 2.32 billion dirhams ($599 million) in the first quarter of 2021

DUBAI: Emirates NBD, Dubai’s biggest lender, reported a 12 percent increase in first-quarter net profit amid an improving economic outlook.

The bank reported a net profit of 2.32 billion dirhams ($599 million) in the first quarter of 2021, it said in a statement on Tuesday.
Patrick Sullivan, group chief financial officer said the bank was able to deliver a 12 percent rise in profit, "with the significant impact of lower interest rates being more than offset by significantly lower credit impairment, and good cost discipline."
The bank said it increased its branch network in Saudi Arabia to six and became the first foreign bank to be granted permission to open branches in Madinah and Makkah.
The bank highlighted the improving economic outlook in Saudi Arabia with the Kingdom's economy expected to grow by 0.7 percent this year after contracting 4.1 percent in 2020.  
"Higher oil prices will help to reduce the budget deficit to just 1.4% of GDP this year, and a number of initiatives have been announced to boost domestic investment," it said.

 


Saudi Arabia is biggest 5G adopter in the Gulf, report shows

Saudi Arabia is biggest 5G adopter in the Gulf, report shows
Updated 20 April 2021

Saudi Arabia is biggest 5G adopter in the Gulf, report shows

Saudi Arabia is biggest 5G adopter in the Gulf, report shows
  • Saudi Arabia’s 5G speed was “much faster than the global average”

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia has recorded the highest adoption of 5G technology compared to its Gulf neighbors, a new report showed.
Ookla, an Internet intelligence firm, revealed that the Kingdom had the most number of devices connected to 5G since its commercial release in 2019.
It was measured by looking at the ratio of samples from devices connected to 5G to the number of samples from all 5G-capable devices, which the firm said is an indicator of the maturity of a country’s 5G market.
Qatar came second, followed by the UAE. Oman, which only launched 5G early this year, was at the bottom of the list.
The report also noted Saudi Arabia’s 5G speed was “much faster than the global average.”
Its median download speed was 127 percent faster at 322.42 Mbps.
The Saudi Telecom Company emerged as the fastest operator in the Kingdom, but Mobily recorded the highest rating from customers.