Iraq targets 90% self-sufficiency in natural gas by 2025

Iraq targets 90% self-sufficiency in natural gas by 2025
Iraq plans to end gas flaring by 2025. (AP)
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Updated 25 June 2021

Iraq targets 90% self-sufficiency in natural gas by 2025

Iraq targets 90% self-sufficiency in natural gas by 2025
  • Iraq currently consumers 3,5000 cubic feet of gas, produces 1,300 cubic feet
  • Iraq imports the rest of its gas from Iran

RIYADH: The Iraqi Ministry of Oil plans to attract a contractor to invest in Akkas gas field, to produce 4,000 million cubic feet of gas by 2025, which represents 90 percent of Iraq’s need for electric power production, said Minister Ihsan Abdul Jabbar.

Iraq will need more gas for electric power by 2030 to keep pace with the rise in the population, which is expected to increase by 10 million people to 50 million by then, he told Asharq.

Iraq will still need to import 15 percent of the gas fuel it needs, he said. Infrastructure is being built in the south to open new outlets to import gas from other countries such as Qatar when needed, he said.

There are currently new projects in the governorates of Dhi Qar and Maysan, Abdul Jabbar said.

Iraq currently consumes about 3,500 million standard cubic feet of natural gas, of which 1,300 cubic feet is produced in Iraq and the rest imported from Iran, while the actual need for Iraq amounts to 4,500 million cubic feet, he said.

Iraq is planning to build a number of power plants in the coming years in partnership with international and Arab companies. Some will use solar energy, while others will run on fossil fuels, including gas that is produced during the extraction of oil, by introducing it into the electricity production system, Abdul Jabbar said.

Iraq plans to end gas flaring altogether by 2025, he said.


Crypto exchange Coinstore enters India despite restrictions on trade: Crypto wrap

Crypto exchange Coinstore enters India despite restrictions on trade: Crypto wrap
Updated 13 sec ago

Crypto exchange Coinstore enters India despite restrictions on trade: Crypto wrap

Crypto exchange Coinstore enters India despite restrictions on trade: Crypto wrap

RIYADH: Singapore-based virtual currency exchange Coinstore has begun operations in India at a time when the Indian government is preparing legislation to effectively bar most private cryptocurrencies.

Coinstore is the second global exchange to enter India in recent months, following in the footsteps of CrossTower which launched its local unit in September.

Coinstore has launched its web and app platform and plans branches in Bangalore, New Delhi and Mumbai which will act as its base in India for future expansion, its management said.

"With nearly a quarter of our total active users coming from India, it made sense for us to expand into the market," Charles Tan, head of marketing at Coinstore told Reuters.

Asked why Coinstore was launching India despite the pending clampdown on cryptocurrencies, Tan said: "There have been policy flip-flops but we hope things are going to be positive and we are optimistic that the Indian government will come out with a healthy framework for cryptocurrencies."

Tan said Coinstore plans to recruit about 100 employees in India and spend $20 million for marketing, hiring and development of crypto-related products and services for the Indian market.

The price of the world's biggest cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, has more than doubled since the start of this year, attracting hordes of Indian investors.

Industry estimates suggest there are 15 million to 20 million crypto investors in India, with total crypto holdings of around 400 billion rupees ($5.33 billion).

Coinstore also plans to expand into Japan, Korea, Indonesia and Vietnam, according to Tan.

Crypto payments

Newegg, one of the major technology-focused e-commerce platforms, has announced that SHIB is coming soon to its platform.

Newegg currently accepts cryptocurrency via Bitpay and the crypto payment service provider is expected to add shiba inu to its list of supported cryptocurrencies, which includes the rival meme cryptocurrency dogecoin.

Meanwhile, AMC theaters are also preparing to accept SHIB payments in the first quarter of next year, according to the CEO Adam Aron.

Daily trading

Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency in trading internationally, traded lower on Sunday, falling by 1.17  percent to $54,322. at 5:46 p.m. Riyadh time.

Ether, the second most traded cryptocurrency, traded at $4,077, down by 1.52 percent, according to data from CoinDesk.


Commercial banks’ lending to private sector up $6.42 bn in October

Commercial banks’ lending to private sector up $6.42 bn in October
Updated 2 min 43 sec ago

Commercial banks’ lending to private sector up $6.42 bn in October

Commercial banks’ lending to private sector up $6.42 bn in October

MOSCOW: Commercial banks’ October lending to the private sector grew by SR24.1 billion ($6.42 billion) from a month ago to SR2 trillion, data published by Saudi Arabia’s central bank on Sunday revealed.

This corresponded to a monthly growth rate of 1.2 percent from the previous month’s SR1.99 trillion in September. 

On the other hand, commercial banks’ lending to the government and quasi-government entities sector fell by a monthly SR13.1 billion to reach SR546.9 billion, reflecting a decline rate of 2.3 percent. 

Looking at the banks’ total assets, official data showed that they grew by SR42.1 billion compared to the previous month to hit SR3.19 trillion. The monthly growth rate stood at 1.3 percent.


TASI falls 4.5% to near 5 month-low: Market wrap

TASI falls 4.5% to near 5 month-low: Market wrap
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 22 min 53 sec ago

TASI falls 4.5% to near 5 month-low: Market wrap

TASI falls 4.5% to near 5 month-low: Market wrap

RIYADH: The Saudi stock market ended the session on Sunday, down 4.5 percent or 512 points, to close at 10,788 points.

Some 233.1 million shares changed hands in 407,000 deals, with heavy trading in Al Rajhi bank, Alinma Bank, SABIC.

Today’s decline is the largest in percentage terms and points since May 2020, when the market fell by 7.4 percent and 527 points.

On Friday, global markets suffered sharp losses after the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that Omicron, the new COVID-19 variant with numerous mutations, is likely to resist the current vaccines.

In addition, Brent crude dropped 11.6 percent to $72.72 a barrel, while WTI sank 13 percent to $ 68.15 a barrel.

The parallel Nomu index was down 790 points, or 3.41 percent, It closed at 22,374.24 points, after 313,000 trades.

Most of the shares declined today, led by Al Rajhi Bank and SABIC closing at SR133.80 ($35.6) down 5 percent and SR112 down 6 percent.

Saudi Aramco finished at SR34.90 down 2 percent amid trading of about seven million shares.

Saudi National Bank, Alinma Bank, Riyad Bank, Banque Saudi Fransi, Bank Albilad, Sipchem, Maaden, SABB and SABIC Agri-Nutrients declined between 3 and 6 percent.

Petro Rabigh, Saudi Kayan, JAZADCO and Tasnee were among the top decliners.

Meanwhile, Amana Insurance and Saudi Enaya were top gainers, rising to SR37.30 and SR33.35, respectively.


Saudi Energy Ministry to help SABIC develop renewable energy projects

Saudi Energy Ministry to help SABIC develop renewable energy projects
Updated 25 min 54 sec ago

Saudi Energy Ministry to help SABIC develop renewable energy projects

Saudi Energy Ministry to help SABIC develop renewable energy projects

RIYADH: Saudi Energy Ministry on Sunday signed a memorandum of understanding with the Saudi Basic Industries Corp. to help develop the company’s renewable energy projects. 

SABIC CEO Yousef Al-Benyan said the support from the Energy Ministry would enable the company achieve its net-zero emissions goal.

Al-Benyan said the chemical manufacturing company plans to increase its use of renewable energy to further reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

All these measures are part of the Saudi Green Initiative. The Kingdom aims to reach net zero in carbon emissions by 2060.  

The main vehicle for the Saudi green initiative is the Circular Carbon Economy, a framework that mitigates carbon emissions but allows different countries to pursue their own economic strategies.


Saudi Arabia’s net foreign assets decline 3.3% in October

Saudi Arabia’s net foreign assets decline 3.3% in October
Updated 34 min 21 sec ago

Saudi Arabia’s net foreign assets decline 3.3% in October

Saudi Arabia’s net foreign assets decline 3.3% in October

CAIRO: Net foreign assets held by the Saudi Central Bank went down by a monthly rate of 3.3 percent to reach SR1.63 trillion ($433 billion) in October, according to newly released data by SAMA.

The central bank’s net foreign assets declined by 2 percent compared to last year’s October.

Commercial banks’ net foreign assets also decreased to SR47.9 billion in October down from SR59.8 billion in the previous month. 

The banks’ net foreign assets nearly halved in value compared to the same month a year ago.

SAMA’s total assets slipped by 2 percent to be valued at SR1.85 trillion in October. This was mainly driven by 11.8 percent decline in the central bank’s deposits with international banks.