OPEC+ meets under pressure from Biden and omicron

OPEC+ meets under pressure from Biden and omicron
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Updated 30 November 2021

OPEC+ meets under pressure from Biden and omicron

OPEC+ meets under pressure from Biden and omicron
  • The meeting "is shaping up to be one of the most significant since the pandemic demand recovery began

OPEC+ oil producers meet Thursday under pressure from US President Joe Biden, who has opened up his country’s taps hoping to bring down crude prices, and a new COVID-19 variant that has complicated the equation.

The meeting “is shaping up to be one of the most significant since the pandemic demand recovery began, and the key signal will be how much more oil will be added to supply to start the new year,” said Peter McNally, an analyst at the Third Bridge think tank.

After coming under heavy pressure to step up production, leading members the United States, China, India and Japan last week announced that they would dip into their strategic reserves to help bring down crude prices, after a surge that has undermined economic recovery.

Biden called it a “major initiative”, with analysts estimating the injection at between 65 and 80 million barrels, including 50 million from the United States alone.

But the move did not have the desired effect, with prices rising regardless — followed by the damper on prices caused by the emergence of the new omicron variant of COVID-19.

The detection of the new variant on Thursday caused crude prices to plunge more than 10 percent, a first since the nightmarish drops of April 2020.

Carsten Fritsch of Commerzbank said “there is much to suggest that OPEC+ will not initially step up its oil production any further” in an effort to maintain current prices at around $70 a barrel.

Such a decision comports with the cautious approach seen since OPEC+ countries began slowly boosting supplies.

Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman warned in late October against complacency.

The group said earlier this month it planned to boost output by 400,000 barrels per day in December, despite a room for manoeuvre that is 10 times greater.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, the Kremlin’s oil pointman, warned Monday against any “hasty decisions”, according to Russian news agencies.

A technical meeting was set for Tuesday ahead of the summit but was postponed to Thursday as experts seek more information on the “current situation”, Novak said.

Iran’s possible re-entry into OPEC will be another key element in the supply calculus.

Iran was sidelined from OPEC in 2018 when then US president Donald Trump pulled Washington out of the 2015 nuclear accord with the Islamic republic.

After a five-month hiatus, negotiations resumed Monday in Vienna.

While most analysts are pessimistic about the outcome, Bjarne Schieldrop of Swedish bank SEB said: “Getting Iranian oil production and exports back on track is probably the best option for President Joe Biden to ease the current oil market tightness.”

Iran produced nearly four million barrels a day in 2017 — an output that dropped to around two million barrels per day last year.


UAE's Masdar wants to hit 200 GW with global renewable energy projects: minister

UAE's Masdar wants to hit 200 GW with global renewable energy projects: minister
Updated 17 sec ago

UAE's Masdar wants to hit 200 GW with global renewable energy projects: minister

UAE's Masdar wants to hit 200 GW with global renewable energy projects: minister

RIYADH: UAE-owned renewable energy company Masdar wants to see its global projects produce up to 200 gigawatts of electricity, the country’s Industry Minister Sultan al-Jaber said on Monday in Dubai.

Al-Jaber, who is also the CEO of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), was speaking at the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week Summit at the Expo 2020 site in Dubai.

He said  Masdar has invested in wind and solar projects in 40 countries around the world, according to Reuters, adding: “Our ambition is to accelerate this development globally to reach 100 GW and ultimately double that again to 200 GW.”

No timeframe was set out for the growth, but last month the  Abu Dhabi government confirmed plans to increase Masdar's capacity to more than 50 gigawatts by 2030.


Tanmiah Food appoints Ahmed Osilan as managing director

Tanmiah Food appoints Ahmed Osilan as managing director
Updated 25 min 24 sec ago

Tanmiah Food appoints Ahmed Osilan as managing director

Tanmiah Food appoints Ahmed Osilan as managing director

RIYADH: Saudi-listed Tanmiah Food Co. will see executive board member Ahmed Sharaf Osilan take over as managing director for the ongoing term, which shall end on April 4, 2022.

The decision was approved by the company’s board of directors today, Jan. 17.  

The newly elected member, Osilan, will replace Muhammad Sajid Saeed.

Osilan holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial management, and has 20 years of experience in the investment field, having held many leadership positions in the past.

The Riyadh-based food company, which employs more than 1,500 people, has grown to become a major supplier of chicken products.

It operates a veterinary services unit and food processing business.

 


General Motors Middle East appoints Sajed Sbeih as new vice president

General Motors Middle East appoints Sajed Sbeih as new vice president
Updated 42 min 42 sec ago

General Motors Middle East appoints Sajed Sbeih as new vice president

General Motors Middle East appoints Sajed Sbeih as new vice president

RIYADH: Automotive company General Motors Africa and Middle East, or GM AMEO, has appointed Sajed Sbeih to the role of vice president of strategy, product & operations at GM Europe. 

Sbeih was previously serving as the managing director of commercial operations for GM Middle East & Sub-Saharan Africa, according to the company’s statement.

Currently named as GM AMEO chief financial officer, Albert Nazarian has been named as the managing director of commercial operations for GM Middle East & Sub-Saharan Africa.

Also, Ajai Shankar, former finance director, is appointed as the company’s new chief financial officer.  

This comes in line with the company’s global growth strategy and efforts to support its vision of Zero Crashes, Zero Emissions and Zero Congestion.


Saudi energy minister: OPEC+ has worked hard to stabilize oil markets

Saudi energy minister: OPEC+ has worked hard to stabilize oil markets
Updated 57 min 33 sec ago

Saudi energy minister: OPEC+ has worked hard to stabilize oil markets

Saudi energy minister: OPEC+ has worked hard to stabilize oil markets

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, known as OPEC+, has done a lot to ensure the stability of the oil market, the Saudi Energy Minister has said.

Speaking at the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week Summit on Monday, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman emphasized the importance of a stable market, adding that the Kingdom enjoys good relationships with OPEC+ members.

OPEC+ has consistently resisted pressure from countries such as the US to raise oil production plans above the agreed rate of an extra 400,000 barrels a day.

Prince Abdulaziz also said that Saudi Arabia is engaging in many events globally with the aim of demonstrating the initiatives taken to boost sustainability.

In addition, while the energy sector faces some challenges in terms of technology, the minister said that young people are expected to welcome this with excitement as they try to satisfy their ambitions.


UAE seeks to capture 25% of the hydrogen market, energy minister says

UAE seeks to capture 25% of the hydrogen market, energy minister says
Updated 17 January 2022

UAE seeks to capture 25% of the hydrogen market, energy minister says

UAE seeks to capture 25% of the hydrogen market, energy minister says

The UAE aims to obtain a quarter of the global hydrogen market, the country’s energy minister said on Monday.

Speaking during the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week Summit, Suhail Al Mazrouei said the UAE is in discussions with many countries who are interested in blue and green hydrogen.

The minister also talked up the importance of the circular economy, saying that adopting it makes sense commercially and helps in creating job opportunities in the country.

According to Al Mazrouei, the UAE is one of the leaders in the shift to this type of economy, which emphasizes the reuse, repair and recycling of existing materials and products as much as possible.