OPEC+ should keep crude below $100, Russia oil boss tells Kommersant 

OPEC+ should keep crude below $100, Russia oil boss tells Kommersant 
Short Url
Updated 08 September 2021

OPEC+ should keep crude below $100, Russia oil boss tells Kommersant 

OPEC+ should keep crude below $100, Russia oil boss tells Kommersant 

MOSCOW: Oil prices should be kept below $100 per barrel to avoid investments in “inefficient projects,” the boss of one of Russia’s leading oil companies has warned.
Vagit Alekperov, CEO of Lukoil — the country’s second largest producer — made the claim in an interview with Kommersant newspaper as he called for the OPEC+ alliance to keep oil prices between $65 and $75 per barrel.
Brent crude has mainly hovered in that bracket since April, briefly going above $75 per barrel in July before falling back in August.
OPEC+ last week resisted pressure by the US to increase oil production above a planned rise of 400,000 bpd.
Alekperov said: “I think that the OPEC+ alliance was created to last forever, not for just some period of time.”
He added: “I wouldn’t want to see oil above $100 a barrel again — this would lead to more investment in inefficient projects yielding low profits, and again lead to a collapse on the market.”
The current OPEC+ agreement means Russia is able to increase output at a rate of 500,000 bpd through the end of April 2022.
This will see Lukoil and other Russian oil producers add more barrels each month on a pro rata basis, as per each individual company’s respective share in the country's total crude output.
Russia’s output of liquid hydrocarbons should recover to the pre-COVID level by end of 1Q 2022, Kirill Bakhtin, oil and gas analyst at Moscow-based Sinara Financial Group told Arab News by phone.   
“Currently the company has stopped up to 90,000 bpd of production per day, and we hope that this (volume of crude output that has been stopped) will be in demand by the market,” Alekperov said. 
Alekperov warned the price of crude is set to change next year. He said: “After all, the oil price is being artificially regulated. 
“We understand that due to production restrictions within OPEC+ the current price does not correspond to reality because a fairly large volume of production has been stopped. 
"Objectively, the (real) price will become known after September 2022 when the OPEC+ agreement expires.”


Submarine cable to link Algeria, Italy

Submarine cable to link Algeria, Italy
Updated 9 sec ago

Submarine cable to link Algeria, Italy

Submarine cable to link Algeria, Italy
  • EU-funded project will allow exchange of up to 2,000 MW of electricity
  • ‘It will certainly have a positive impact’ on both countries’ energy systems, ministry source tells Arab News

ROME: A submarine cable nearly 200 km long will soon link Italy and Algeria, allowing an exchange of up to 2,000 megawatts of electricity between the two countries.

The electrical interconnection project will link the Algerian region of El-Chafia, on the east coast, and the Italian island of Sardinia.

The project was discussed during a meeting in Rome between Mourad Adjal, CEO of Algerian state-owned natural gas company Sonelgaz, and Italy’s Minister of Ecological Transition Roberto Cingolani, before the start on Thursday of a two-day state visit by Algeria’s president.

A senior source in Italy’s Ministry of Ecological Transition told Arab News: “This project will be funded by the EU. It will certainly have a positive impact on the energy systems of Italy and Algeria, and we really believe it would help in the current situation when every country is working to increase its energy supply.”

Although a precise timeline is not known yet, Italy’s government is confident that “the activation of the electricity interconnection shouldn’t take long,” the source said.


Massive shift in retail experience after COVID-19 outbreak: Majid Al Futtaim Properties CEO

Massive shift in retail experience after COVID-19 outbreak: Majid Al Futtaim Properties CEO
Updated 46 min 6 sec ago

Massive shift in retail experience after COVID-19 outbreak: Majid Al Futtaim Properties CEO

Massive shift in retail experience after COVID-19 outbreak: Majid Al Futtaim Properties CEO

RIYADH: The retail experience has witnessed a massive shift after the outbreak of the pandemic, Majid Al Futtaim Properties CEO Ahmed Ismail told a gathering at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos on May 24.

He said that this massive shift has come as people were confined to their homes due to the pandemic. As things have improved, the CEO said that human beings have now that hunger for a social experience — something that has opened up new possibilities. 

Talking about the retail sector, Ismail said that data has been a big challenge for their businesses as their new-age competitors are incredibly data-rich with the implementation of new technologies. 

He revealed that Majid Al Futtaim Properties has invested a lot in recent years in data collection through loyalty programs and partnerships. 

The company has also inked partnership deals with payment processors, telecom companies, and even with the Dubai government through the Dubai smart initiative to bridge this data divide. 

 


China In-focus: Tax relief worth $21bn unveiled to boost slowing economy; policymakers pledge more steps

China In-focus: Tax relief worth $21bn unveiled to boost slowing economy; policymakers pledge more steps
Updated 58 min 41 sec ago

China In-focus: Tax relief worth $21bn unveiled to boost slowing economy; policymakers pledge more steps

China In-focus: Tax relief worth $21bn unveiled to boost slowing economy; policymakers pledge more steps

RIYADH: China unveiled a major tax relief to help lift the world’s second largest economy. The country’s policymakers also pledged to take necessary measures to help the economy recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

·      China unveiled a tax relief worth over 140 billion yuan ($21 billion) to help boost its slowing economy, Bloomberg reported. This comes as the extended lockdowns since March have hit the economic growth of the Asian country. The support is mainly targeting companies and firms rather than households. Other measures taken include additional tax rebates to firms as well as cuts of around 60 billion yuan on passenger-car purchase taxes, according to a decision from China’s State Council.

·      Chinese policymakers have vowed to help the world’s second largest economy get back on its feet by implementing the necessary steps, Reuters reported citing the Cabinet. The measures to be taken include broadening tax credit rebates, postponing social security payments as well as loan repayments, introducing new investment projects, among others.

·      Lockdowns in China are predicted to have a greater effect on global supply chains than the Russia-Ukraine war, Reuters reported citing the head of German logistics company DHL Group’s freight business. Global supply chain bottlenecks, as a result of the lockdowns, are expected to linger through Christmas this year and all of the next year as a huge part of the global economy highly depends on China, the head said. 


Abu Dhabi stays ahead of the game with its creative endeavors

Abu Dhabi stays ahead of the game with its creative endeavors
Updated 24 May 2022

Abu Dhabi stays ahead of the game with its creative endeavors

Abu Dhabi stays ahead of the game with its creative endeavors

RIYADH: With the winds of positive change sweeping the UAE, the Emirates is now emphasizing moving from a resource-based economy to a knowledge-based one and leading the advocacy in the region is its emerging creative industry.

Michael Garin, director-general at Abu Dhabi Creative Media Authority, a pioneer in the creative industry, told Arab News at the Top CEO event in Dubai that sectors such as gaming also have a massive role in that transition.

Garin disclosed that what they have accomplished in 15 years in the film and television industry was achieved in almost two years in the esports and gaming industry.

“Already, the revenues generated by gaming far exceed all the advertising revenues in the television business around the world,” he added.

Garin believes an economy’s change is through training people for jobs that are still not widely available, and the gaming industry can create an unlimited number of jobs.

“The creative industries will drive a great deal of that transition because it’s attracting the smartest, the most talented and the best-educated young people,” he explained.

Michael Garin spoke to Arab News at the Top CEO event in Dubai (Arab News)

Explaining the wide reach of its creative industries, Garin shared the success story of Unity Technologies, one of the leading global technology companies in the gaming industry, based in Abu Dhabi.

“You turn on your computer; it’s powered by Apple or Microsoft. You make a phone call; it’s an Android phone or an iOS device, but over 94 percent of all games, virtual and augmented reality, are powered by Unity Technologies,” he added.

Since its launch last year, the Creative Media Authority has been creating an overarching ecosystem to enable creative individuals and businesses to express themselves and reach new levels of commercial success.

The establishment of the authority is part of a 30 billion UAE dirhams ($8.17 billion), 10-year investment strategy across Abu Dhabi by both the public and private sectors to develop the emirate’s culture and creative infrastructure.


UAE blockchain firm aims to build Crypto Valley in the region

UAE blockchain firm aims to build Crypto Valley in the region
Updated 24 May 2022

UAE blockchain firm aims to build Crypto Valley in the region

UAE blockchain firm aims to build Crypto Valley in the region

DUBAI: More than 1,000 companies in the UAE will board the crypto bandwagon by the end of this year, estimated the co-founder of Crypto Oasis, a Dubai-based venture that fosters the blockchain ecosystem in the UAE.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Top CEO event in Dubai, Crypto Oasis co-founder Saqr Ereiqat told Arab News that the company has an opportunity to develop an ecosystem that is untapped in the Middle East.

“That ecosystem consists of talent, capital and infrastructure,” said Ereiqat.

From a physical, regulatory or digital point of view, the Middle East has some of the best infrastructures in the world, he said.

The company began investing in 2022 and has made 24 investments in 20 different projects since then.

“That is a testament to this fast-paced, growing ecosystem we operate in,” he added.

Crypto Oasis intends to invest in the top 10 percent of companies in the ecosystem, he said.

Currently, the company has a cap of $10 million, but Ereiqat states that he sees it growing in the future.

“We want to make strategic investments where we invest $50,000 to $250,000 in many projects, riding the wave with the ecosystem,” he said.

He informed that the company is working with regulators, businesses, free zones and governments to create a regulatory infrastructure.

“Crypto Oasis is creating the same infrastructure and geography as Silicon Valley but for the blockchain and crypto ecosystem,” Ereiqat added.

When asked what makes Crypto Oasis different, Ereiqat said he does not think there is competition since the ecosystem is large enough for everyone to engage.

However, he added that the company supports talented intrapreneurs to get connected to the proper regulatory infrastructure.

With the Dubai Multi Commodities Center, Ereiqat said that Crypto Oasis has helped create a regulatory infrastructure where companies can come, get registered, and use their blockchain, distributed ledger technology, Metaverses, and non-fungible tokens.

According to him, the company hopes to have people refer to this ecosystem as the Crypto Oasis. “We’re very proud that although we’ve just launched in November, we can already see international publications referring to this area as the Crypto Oasis,” he added.