OPEC, OPEC+ market management needs to be copy, pasted by others: Saudi energy minister

OPEC, OPEC+ market management needs to be copy, pasted by others: Saudi energy minister
Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman. (Getty Images)
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Updated 15 October 2021

OPEC, OPEC+ market management needs to be copy, pasted by others: Saudi energy minister

OPEC, OPEC+ market management needs to be copy, pasted by others: Saudi energy minister
  • Wild swings in gas and coal markets could be controlled with more coordination

 The natural gas market is struggling with a lack of stocks, investments and coordination among buyers and sellers and needs to be properly regulated, the Saudi energy minister has said.

Speaking at The Russian Energy Week forum on Thursday, Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud also claimed the OPEC+ agreement has started to create a balance and is ensuring energy security when it comes to oil, but it takes a diversity of sources of energy to enable the organization to do that.

He said: “People need to conduct themselves in assuring that world economy is well supplied with the diversity of sources of energy."

“Gas markets, coal markets, and other energy sources need to be regulated, people need to copy and paste what OPEC has done and what OPEC+ has achieved,” the Saudi minister added.

Saudi Arabia has proposed that Russia consider the possibility of cooperating in the natural gas market, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on Thursday, according to TASS news agency.

The benefits to energy consumers can be seen in the relatively steady increase in the price of oil this year compared with the wild price swings in other markets, said the Saudi energy minister.

“What we see in the oil market today is an incremental (price) increase of 29 percent, vis-à-vis 500 percent increases in (natural) gas prices, 300 percent increases in coal prices, 200 percent increases in NGLs (natural gas liquids) ...,” he said.

OPEC+ has done a “remarkable” job acting as “so-called regulator of the oil market,” he said, as he dismissed calls for faster output increases.

He said OPEC+ would be adding 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) in November, and then again in the following months.

At its meeting earlier this month, OPEC+ stuck to its agreement of increasing production by 400,000 bpd a month as it unwinds production cuts.

“We want to make sure that we reduce those excess capacities that we have developed as a result of COVID,” he said, adding that OPEC+ wanted to do it “in a gradual, phased-in approach.”

Prince Abdulaziz said that while OECD oil inventories were on track to normalize at the end of this year, 2022 was looking “a bit of a challenging year.”

OPEC+ figures show the oil market is set for a surplus of about 1.4 million bpd next year.


UAE space center launches startup incubator

UAE space center launches startup incubator
Updated 21 sec ago

UAE space center launches startup incubator

UAE space center launches startup incubator
  • The launchpad, as the UAE firm describes it, will allow businesses to collaborate with it on long-term projects and to have access to technology and support.

CAIRO: The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) has launched a startup incubator for entrepreneurs in the space technology sector. 

The launchpad, as the UAE firm describes it, will allow businesses to collaborate with it on long-term projects and to have access to technology and support.

“The UAE space sector is looking to further expand its horizon and create a new space economy landscape in the country through a self-sustaining space ecosystem,” MBRSC Director General Yousuf Al-Shaibani said. 

He added this is “only possible through partnerships with ambitious companies focused on emerging trends in the upstream and downstream areas of the space sector.”


UBER, Careem have their tax dues settled, Asharq reports

UBER, Careem have their tax dues settled, Asharq reports
Updated 56 min 6 sec ago

UBER, Careem have their tax dues settled, Asharq reports

UBER, Careem have their tax dues settled, Asharq reports

RIYADH: Uber and Careem have settled their tax dues in Saudi Arabia, and they are committed to and work according to the tax system in force in the country, Asharq reported, citing a source it didn't name.

Both companies had a different understanding of the tax system in the Kingdom, and learned the right mechanism of work in the local market after communicating with the General Authority for Zakat, the source said.
"Both companies obtained the necessary clarification at the time, and for a long time, and paid their tax obligations in this framework, and they are currently working according to the system," the source said.

The source added that Uber and Careem may have a previous objection to the tax assessment, and the decision in this regard is subject to the competent judicial authorities.

Bloomberg Agency had reported citing its own sources that Uber and its subsidiary Careem are facing tens of millions of dollars in tax payments in Saudi Arabia. 

It also revealed that both companies are facing a combined tax bill in the Kingdom of about $100 million.

These claims are linked to a dispute over how to calculate the value-added tax (VAT) due over the past few years, and the mechanism for sharing it between temporary work companies and individual contractors. The claims also include heavy fines due to late payments by these companies, according to Bloomberg.


Saudi Central Bank launches consultation on insurance fintech rules

Saudi Central Bank launches consultation on insurance fintech rules
Updated 18 October 2021

Saudi Central Bank launches consultation on insurance fintech rules

Saudi Central Bank launches consultation on insurance fintech rules

RIYADH: The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) has invited the public to submit feedback on its draft insurance financial technology rules.

The new regulations aim to allow insurance FinTechs to work within a regulatory framework that “keeps pace with developments in the insurance industry in general, and insurance technology services in particular,” SAMA said in a statement.

The guidance covers such features as encouraging fair competition, obligations for practitioners, the accuracy and preservation of customer information as well as other consumer rights.

The central bank said its framework is designed to “stimulate innovation."

Members of the public have until Nov. 16 to send in feedback on the draft insurance fintech rules, after which SAMA will adopt its final guidance.


Toyota to build $1.29bn battery plant for hybrids, EVs in US

Toyota to build $1.29bn battery plant for hybrids, EVs in US
Updated 18 October 2021

Toyota to build $1.29bn battery plant for hybrids, EVs in US

Toyota to build $1.29bn battery plant for hybrids, EVs in US

DETROIT: Toyota plans to build a new $1.29 billion factory in the US to manufacture batteries for gas-electric hybrid and fully electric vehicles.

The plant location was not announced, but the company said it eventually will employ 1,750 people and start making batteries in 2025, gradually expanding through 2031.

The plant is part of $3.4 billion that Toyota plans to spend in the US on automotive batteries during the next decade. It did not detail where the remaining $2.1 billion would be spent, but part of that likely will go for another battery factory.

It comes amid a flurry of global announcements about shoring up production of batteries for electric vehicles. Most automakers are working to transition away from internal combustion engines to zero emission battery vehicles.

Stellantis, formerly Fiat Chrysler, and LG Energy Solution said Monday that they plan to build a battery manufacturing facility to help the automaker get 40 percent of its US sales from electric vehicles by 2030. They did not say where the plant would be.

Ford, General Motors and Toyota have announced large investments in U.S. battery factories. GM plans to build battery plants in Ohio and Tennessee, while Ford has plans for plants in Tennessee and Kentucky.

Toyota will form a new company to run its new US battery plant with Toyota Tsusho, a subsidiary that now makes an array of parts for the automaker. The company also will help Toyota expand its US supply chain, as well as increase its knowledge of lithium-ion auto batteries, Toyota said on Monday.

“Today's commitment to electrification is about achieving long-term sustainability for the environment, American jobs and consumers,” Ted Ogawa, Toyota’s North American CEO, said in a statement.

The new plant would likely be near one of the company’s US assembly plants in Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana, Alabama or Texas.

Toyota plans to sell 2 million zero emission hydrogen and battery electric vehicles worldwide per year by 2030. In the US, Toyota plans to sell 1.5 million to 1.8 million vehicles by 2030 in the US that are at least partially electrified.


Crown Prince transfers military land ownership in Asir to government

Crown Prince transfers military land ownership in Asir to government
Updated 18 October 2021

Crown Prince transfers military land ownership in Asir to government

Crown Prince transfers military land ownership in Asir to government

RIYADH:The Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, agreed to transfer the ownership of the land belonging to the Ministry of Defense south of Bisha, in Asir governate, to be government land in support of the region's strategic goals, Asir governate official Twitter account revealed.

The land extends on an area of 22,580,225 sqm, it said.