Saudi Arabia, Iraq sign electrical interconnection agreement 

Saudi Arabia, Iraq sign electrical interconnection agreement 
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Updated 25 January 2022

Saudi Arabia, Iraq sign electrical interconnection agreement 

Saudi Arabia, Iraq sign electrical interconnection agreement 

Saudi Arabia and Iraq signed an electrical interconnection agreement on Tuesday at the Saudi-Iraqi Forum.

Hamid Al-Ghazi, the  Secretary-General of Iraq's Council of Ministers, set out the need for the deal, saying: "Iraq is in dire need of electricity, and this connection will add to the Iraqi electric power."

The Memorandum of Understandng came as a result of a study conducted by the two countries, which concluded that there is an opportunity to connect them in what is a step towards achieving a regional market for electricity sharing.

Saudi Energy Minister Prince Ablduaziz bin Salman said: “Recently, Saudi Arabia and Jordan signed a MoU of electrical interconnection between both countries, and then a few months ago we signed an agreement in the same regard with Egypt."

“Today comes the agreement with Iraq, which is part of a goal to make the Kingdom a regional center for linking electricity systems in the Arab world,” he added.

 

 


Charter aircraft in demand in Saudi Arabia as Mideast seeing steady growth in business aviation

Charter aircraft in demand in Saudi Arabia as Mideast seeing steady growth in business aviation
Updated 9 sec ago

Charter aircraft in demand in Saudi Arabia as Mideast seeing steady growth in business aviation

Charter aircraft in demand in Saudi Arabia as Mideast seeing steady growth in business aviation

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is facing a shortage of charter aircraft as there is a ‘burgeoning demand’ for domestic and international charter in the Kingdom, said a top executive of a Saudi-based private aviation service provider.  

This comes as the Middle East is seeing steady growth in the business aviation sector, with bizjet flight activity recording a 16-percent spike in week 46 compared to the same week last year, according to WingX, a business aviation intelligence firm based in Germany.  

“There's a shortage of charter aircraft in the [Saudi Arabian] market,” Fahad Al Jarboa, CEO of Saudia Private Aviation, said during the Middle East & North Africa Business Aviation Association show in Dubai, as reported by AIN Online.   

The CEO revealed that SPA has an ambitious growth strategy as it plans to wet lease up to six business aircraft in the coming months to meet the growing demand. 

One of the leading providers of luxury aviation and ground handling services, SPA is expected to boost its fleet size with the arrival of an Embraer Praetor 500 in the third quarter of next year, Al Jarboa told AIN Online, adding that they have the option to add a second one.  

The company hinted at going for business jets of sizes varying up to Boeing BBJs to make air charter at the individual level more possible. 

A subsidiary of Saudia Group, which owns Saudia and flyadeal, SPA has several widebody aircraft from the parent company that it can use for charter.   

But the company is negotiating with lessors and hoping to close a deal in the next two months.

“We will start with one or two aircraft, just to meet immediate demand. Ideally, we should have, between owned and wet-leased, at least four to six aircraft,” he said. 

SPA sold six Dassault Falcon 7Xs over the past four years, as well as a number of its Hawker 400XPs. 

SPA, which runs the largest private aviation terminal in the Kingdom, also announced receiving the second phase of the International Business Aircraft Handling certification during the show. 

The company said the first-of-its-kind ground-handling certificate will meet the requirements of international civil aviation as the standardization has been designed to enhance the safety and efficiency of business and ground-handling service providers for general aviation. 

The growing demand for business jets is driving the aviation market growth in the Middle East as the region is home to a large population of high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth individuals, according to London-based market research firm Technavio. It said these factors are driving the demand for large-cabin and long-range business jets that offer high luxury and comfort. 

The report noted that the market witnessed the adoption of 14 business jets in the Middle East in 2021, adding that the demand is expected to grow further during the forecast period. With the rising adoption of business jets, the report said the demand for charter operations is also increasing in the region. 


Saudi Arabia to deposit $5bn in Turkiye’s central bank, finance minister confirms

Saudi Arabia to deposit $5bn in Turkiye’s central bank, finance minister confirms
Updated 35 min 4 sec ago

Saudi Arabia to deposit $5bn in Turkiye’s central bank, finance minister confirms

Saudi Arabia to deposit $5bn in Turkiye’s central bank, finance minister confirms

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia will place a $5 billion deposit at Turkiye’s central bank within days, the Kingdom’s finance minister Mohammed al-Jadaan confirmed.

"There is great improvement in our relationship with Turkiye and we aspire for investment opportunities in Turkiye and other countries," he said.

Turkiye’s central bank has swapped deals in local currencies with several of its counterparts worth a total of $28 billion. It signed a deal with China for $6 billion, with Qatar for $15 billion, with the UAE for around $5 billion.

Similarly, last month, the Kingdom extended the term for a $5 billion deposit made to Egypt’s central bank back in March after the country came under increasing financial pressure following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Saudi Press Agency reported. 

The extension came at the directive of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and aims to enhance economic stability in Egypt. 

Turkiye is seeking more cooperation with Saudi Arabia and other countries as it plans to be an energy hub to Europe, its finance minister said. 

“Turkiye, from its geographical position, is an energy corridor from Russia, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. Any kind of natural gas or oil that is going to be transported or shipped, will cost less and will be more safely shipped,” Turkiye's Treasury and Finance Minister Nureddin Nebati told Arab News in an interview in October. 

Speaking on the sideline of the 6th edition of Future Investment Initiative forum in Riyadh, the minister didn’t elaborate further on how the two countries might cooperate but said that peace in the region will bring energy costs down. 

“Turkiye and Saudi Arabia are also assisting each other, which will bring peace in the region. That peace will bring more affordable gas prices, the energy prices, and will allow both countries to look ahead,” he added.

Turkiye’s economy has been badly strained by a slumping lira and soaring inflation of over 85 percent and a swap or deposit agreement could boost Turkiye’s diminished foreign currency reserves.

Analysts say this could also help President Tayyip Erdogan shore up support ahead of elections due by June 2023.


Saudi Arabia to launch regional center for Chinese factories as trade relations deepen

Saudi Arabia to launch regional center for Chinese factories as trade relations deepen
Updated 3 min ago

Saudi Arabia to launch regional center for Chinese factories as trade relations deepen

Saudi Arabia to launch regional center for Chinese factories as trade relations deepen

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia will host a regional center for Chinese factories as the Kingdom's strategic location among the three continents of Asia, Africa and Europe is set to elevate the trade relationship between both countries in the energy supply chain, confirmed Saudi Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman.  

He reaffirmed that Saudi Arabia will continue to be China's reliable partner in the energy sector, and added that the Kingdom is always keen to maintain stability in the oil market, reported Saudi Press Agency. 

Not just the energy sector, Prince Abdulaziz further added that Saudi Arabia has strong and close strategic relations with China in various other fields.  

Highlighting that China is the top destination for Saudi Arabia's oil imports, he said the volume of trade between the countries has been increasing steadily over the past five years.  

The energy minister also reviewed areas of cooperation where both China and Saudi Arabia can work together. This includes projects to convert crude oil into petrochemicals, renewable energy, clean hydrogen, electricity projects and peaceful uses of nuclear energy.   

He also assured collaboration in China's Belt and Road Initiative, as well as investment in integrated refining and petrochemical complexes in both countries.  

The comments from the energy minister come while Chinese president Xi Jinping is in the Kingdom for three days to attend multiple summits including the Saudi-Chinese Summit, the Riyadh Gulf-China Summit for Cooperation and Development, and the Riyadh Arab-China Summit for Cooperation and Development.  

Xi's visit to Saudi Arabia is expected to further strengthen the trade relationship between the two countries as well as the Middle East as Beijing is looking to increase its influence in the region.   

It should be also noted that the Kingdom was the biggest recipient of Chinese investments in the Arab World between 2005 and 2020, accounting for more than 20.3 percent of the total regional investments, worth $196.9 billion, SPA reported. 

It added that both countries are expected to sign more than 20 initial agreements worth over SR110 billion ($29.3 billion) during Xi's visit. They are also expected to enter into a strategic partnership deal to harmonize the implementation of the Kingdom's Vision 2030 and economic diversification project with China’s Belt and Road Initiative.  


Abu Dhabi energy giants complete landmark deal to acquire stakes in Masdar 

Abu Dhabi energy giants complete landmark deal to acquire stakes in Masdar 
Updated 08 December 2022

Abu Dhabi energy giants complete landmark deal to acquire stakes in Masdar 

Abu Dhabi energy giants complete landmark deal to acquire stakes in Masdar 

RIYADH: Abu Dhabi's energy giants have completed a transaction that will see them consolidate their renewable energy and green hydrogen efforts into a single global clean energy powerhouse under the Masdar brand. 

Abu Dhabi National Energy Co., known as TAQA; Mubadala Investment Co. and Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. have become shareholders in Abu Dhabi Future Energy Co. or Masdar – Abu Dhabi’s flagship clean energy company. 

TAQA will head up Masdar’s renewable business with a 43 percent shareholding, with Mubadala retaining 33 percent and ADNOC holding 24 percent, the companies announced in a filing to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange on Thursday. 

The deal comes in alignment with the UAE's plans to invest 600 billion dirhams ($163 billion) by 2050 in renewable and clean energy capacity and achieve net-zero emissions in the next three decades. 

Sultan Al Jaber, the UAE’s Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, CEO of ADNOC and chairman of Masdar said: “As the founding CEO of Masdar, I am excited to see Abu Dhabi’s energy leaders coming together to take Masdar to the next level. The Masdar clean energy powerhouse will unlock a new chapter of growth, development, and opportunity for renewable energy and green hydrogen projects, both in the UAE and worldwide.” 

In the filing, the companies said Masdar has an ambitious target of at least 100-gigawatt renewable energy capacity and the production of up to 1 million tons of green hydrogen by 2030, with aspirations to grow its renewable energy portfolio to more than 200GW. 

The filing said as part of the deal, TAQA, which paid $1.02 billion in cash for its stake, will offer to contribute its ownership interests in future Abu Dhabi renewable power projects to Masdar.  

Mohamed Hassan Alsuwaidi, chairman of TAQA said: Over the next decade, Masdar will rapidly expand its renewable energy and green hydrogen investments to accelerate decarbonization.”  

Last year, he said TAQA committed to a renewable energy share of 30 percent of its total power generation capacity by 2030. “Our stake in Masdar is a key part of delivering on this target, while supporting the UAE’s ambition to cut greenhouse gas emissions and be a driving force in the global energy transition." 

Masdar City, Abu Dhabi’s primary sustainable urban development, will continue to remain under Mubadala’s ownership as the sole shareholder. 

Masdar was established by Mubadala in 2006 to lead the UAE's role in the global energy sector and drive the country's climate action agenda. 

It is active in over 40 countries and has developed and invested in global projects with a combined value of $20 billion. 


Oil Updates — Crude steady; Chevron raises 2023 project spending budget to $17bn

Oil Updates — Crude steady; Chevron raises 2023 project spending budget to $17bn
Updated 21 min 56 sec ago

Oil Updates — Crude steady; Chevron raises 2023 project spending budget to $17bn

Oil Updates — Crude steady; Chevron raises 2023 project spending budget to $17bn

RIYADH: Oil rebounded on Thursday after four sessions of decline, boosted by hopes that easing anti-COVID measures in China will revive demand and by signs that some tankers carrying Russian oil have been delayed after a Group of Seven price cap came into effect.

China on Wednesday announced the most sweeping changes to its resolute anti-COVID regime since the pandemic began, while at least 20 oil tankers faced delays in crossing to the Mediterranean from Russia’s Black Sea ports.

Brent crude rose 46 cents, or 0.60 percent, to $77.63 a barrel at 03.00 p.m. Saudi time, while US West Texas Intermediate crude gained 67 cents, or 0.93 percent, to $72.68.

Meanwhile, Qatar has set its official selling price for its Marine crude at $1.85 a barrel above the Oman/Dubai average for January. 

Iraq’s November oil output down

Iraq produced 4.43 million barrels per day of crude in November, down by 221,000 bpd from October, Reuters reported, citing data from state-owned marketer SOMO.

According to the production figures, Iraq’s output was in line with its quota under the agreement made by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, known as OPEC+.

At 4.431 mln bpd, Iraq’s November ceiling was 220,000 bpd lower than October’s. Iraq achieved the decline by reducing internal consumption by 92,000 bpd, exports by 63,000 bpd, while stock levels fell, the data from SOMO show.

In October, Iraq’s then-oil minister Ihsan Abdul Jabbar said the country would adhere to its OPEC+ quota by managing internal oil consumption to preserve export capabilities. 

Chevron raises 2023 project spending budget to $17 billion

 

Chevron Corp. on Wednesday said it increased its 2023 capital spending budget by a double-digit percentage from this year to $17 billion, as inflation drives up energy production costs and the firm pours cash into low-carbon fuel projects.

Like other US energy companies that profited from this year’s rise in fuel prices, Chevron faces mounting pressure from the White House to invest more in fossil fuel supplies. The company is also preparing to expand operations in Venezuela.

Chevron indicated it will keep spending within a $15 billion to $17 billion range, despite this year’s surge in oil prices that generated all-time high profits and allowed for record amounts of cash distributions to shareholders.

“We’re maintaining capital discipline while investing to grow both traditional and new energy supplies,” said Chevron CEO Michael Wirth.

US tells Turkiye no need for additional checks on oil tankers

US Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo told Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal in a call on Wednesday that the price cap on Russian oil does not necessitate additional checks on ships passing through Turkish territorial waters, the US Treasury Department said.

A Turkish measure in force since the start of the month has caused a logjam by requiring vessels to provide proof they have insurance covering the duration of their transit through the Bosphorus strait or when calling at Turkish ports.

(With inputs from Reuters)