Oil Update — Crude edges up; Vitol sends ESPO crude to UAE; BNP Paribas ends oil drilling financing in Amazon rainforest

Oil Update — Crude edges up; Vitol sends ESPO crude to UAE; BNP Paribas ends oil drilling financing in Amazon rainforest
The gains came on the back of news from Tuesday that the European Union is working on new sanctions against Russia. (Image: Shutterstock)
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Updated 04 May 2022

Oil Update — Crude edges up; Vitol sends ESPO crude to UAE; BNP Paribas ends oil drilling financing in Amazon rainforest

Oil Update — Crude edges up; Vitol sends ESPO crude to UAE; BNP Paribas ends oil drilling financing in Amazon rainforest
  • BNP Paribas said for upstream oil and gas refining, its financed emissions intensity will fall by at least 10 percent by 2025

RIYADH: Oil prices rose at the start of Asian trade on Wednesday after industry data showed drawdowns in US crude and fuel stockpiles, raising supply concerns and offsetting worries about slowing demand from top importer China.

Brent crude futures rose 89 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $105.86 a barrel by 0223 GMT. West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 97 cents, or 1 percent, to $103.38 a barrel.

The gains came on the back of news from Tuesday that the European Union is working on new sanctions against Russia for waging war on Ukraine that will target Moscow’s oil industry.

Vitol sends first shipment of Russian ESPO crude to UAE

The world’s largest independent oil trader, Vitol, loaded a Russian ESPO Blend crude cargo for the United Arab Emirates this week, the first such voyage for the grade, Reuters reported citing data from several analytics firms.

Suezmax tanker Kriti Breeze chartered for $2.3 million, loaded the 740,000-barrel cargo from the Far East port of Kozmino on May 3, and is heading to the port of Fujairah, data from Refinitiv, Kpler and Vortexa showed.

According to the data, the tanker is expected to discharge the cargo at Fujairah in late May or early June.

Two traders who regularly track ESPO crude said the crude is typically sold to North Asia.

The shipment is “very creative, and free-on-board discounts must be huge for it to work,” one of the traders said, referring to the crude’s spot discount to Dubai quotes, excluding freight cost.

BNP Paribas ends financing for Amazon rainforest oil drilling

France’s BNP Paribas pledged on Tuesday to end the newest financing for oil production in the Amazon rainforest.

They said it would reduce its “financed emissions intensity” in the energy and auto sectors.

Emissions intensity measures emissions relative to output that some climate activists have said does not go far enough.

BNP Paribas and more than 100 other banks have pledged to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 but are under pressure to provide details on the deep shorter-term cuts to “financed emissions” that are needed if they have any chance of meeting their goal.

BNP Paribas said for upstream oil and gas refining, its financed emissions intensity will fall by at least 10 percent by 2025; for automotive clients by at least 25 percent; and for power generation businesses by at least 30 percent.

“Our strategy is threefold: align our portfolio with our net-zero commitment; measure and pilot our carbon-related risks; and broaden and deepen client relationships to support them as they make their low-carbon transition,” CEO Jean-Laurent Bonnafe said.

BNP said the targets were determined using International Energy Agency climate scenarios and the Net Zero Banking Alliance framework.

The NZBA is a voluntary group of banks committed to aligning lending and investment portfolios with net-zero emissions by 2050.

BNP said it would hit its oil and gas-related targets by reducing its credit exposure to the sector by 12 percent from a 2020 baseline.

It had already reduced its exposure in 2021 by 6 percent as it toughened its stance on lending to unconventional oil and gas.

Its pledge to end Amazon oil financing includes new oil and gas production and companies developing related infrastructure.

However, BNP Paribas left open the door to some continued financing in the Amazon by adding that the exclusions would “not apply to companies with the most credible transition plans toward a net-zero economy by 2050.”

Climate campaigners have said banks must stop backing fossil fuel extraction in the Amazon rainforest, the world’s largest, given its importance for biodiversity and its vital role in regulating the Earth’s climate by absorbing carbon dioxide.

(With input from Reuters)


Egypt B2B marketplace Mazaya raises $5m in pre-seed round

Egypt B2B marketplace Mazaya raises $5m in pre-seed round
Updated 58 min 31 sec ago

Egypt B2B marketplace Mazaya raises $5m in pre-seed round

Egypt B2B marketplace Mazaya raises $5m in pre-seed round

RIYADH: Mazaya, an Egypt-based B2B e-commerce marketplace, raised $5 million in a pre-seed round, said a statement issued on Tuesday.

The funding round was led by financial investment firm Raya Trade and Distribution, it added.

The company will use the funds to boost its operation in Egypt as well as expand into new markets and other verticals.

“The funds raised will allow us to quickly scale our operations and expand to other markets beyond Egypt, we have plans to launch our services in Nigeria before this year-end,” Amir Aboul Fotouh, Mazaya co-founder, said.

The Mazaya App provides retailers and merchants of electronic goods and home appliances the ability to procure inventory for their stores from all major brands.

“The platform conveniently supports merchants, particularly small merchants who do not receive adequate services, with the ability to scale their business through a superior level of service and a wide range of electronic devices from all international and local brands at the click of a button,” Bassem Megahed, CEO of Raya Trade and Distribution, said in a statement.

The company also plans to offer financial services and support to their retailers by offering credit facilities and flexible payment options.


Russia to spend $55bn from rainy-day fund to cover 2022 budget gap

Russia to spend $55bn from rainy-day fund to cover 2022 budget gap
Updated 28 September 2022

Russia to spend $55bn from rainy-day fund to cover 2022 budget gap

Russia to spend $55bn from rainy-day fund to cover 2022 budget gap

MOSCOW: Russia plans to spend 3.19 trillion roubles ($54.62 billion) from its National Wealth Fund this year to cover its budget deficit, a draft budget published on the finance ministry’s website showed on Wednesday, according to Reuters.

In 2023, Russia intends to spend 1.95 trillion roubles on budget deficit financing from the NWF, a rainy-day fund made up of oil and gas revenues, and another 643.7 billion roubles in 2024.

The ministry intends to issue 2.5 trillion roubles worth of OFZ treasury bonds as it seeks to ramp up domestic borrowing in 2023, the document showed.

In 2024, the ministry plans to borrow 3.4 trillion roubles and another 3.4 trillion roubles in 2025.


MENA Project Tracker — Petrofac contract extended; ASHGHAL requests pre-qualification document 

MENA Project Tracker — Petrofac contract extended; ASHGHAL requests pre-qualification document 
Updated 28 September 2022

MENA Project Tracker — Petrofac contract extended; ASHGHAL requests pre-qualification document 

MENA Project Tracker — Petrofac contract extended; ASHGHAL requests pre-qualification document 

RIYADH: Iraq has approved a project to build a $50 million industrial city in tandem with its post-war reconstruction initiative, reported Zawya.  

Located in the center of the Najaf Governorate, the new city will stretch over 9.5 sq. km, and encompass many different industries such as petrochemicals, lubricants, glass and detergents.

“This project will provide 5,000 jobs to Iraqis and its cost could exceed $50 million…we have received cabinet approval and have already selected a contractor,” said Dirgham Kiko, chairman of the Najaf Investment Commission.

It is expected to be completed within two years.

Petrofac’s contract extended in the Haliba oil field

UK-based Petrofac will continue supporting operations at the Haliba oil field in Abu Dhabi for the next two years, according to an agreement with Al-Dhafra Petroleum — a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. Group.

Al-Dhafra Petroleum originally selected Petrofac for this contract in September 2019, reported MEED.  

ASHGHAL requests pre-qualification documents

Qatar’s Public Works Authority has requested prequalification documents for four construction contracts that make up the South of Wakrah and New District of Doha pumping station and outfall scheme, reported MEED.

The contract has been tendered since mid-August, and bids will be closed by Oct. 23.


Egypt property-tech startup Partment raises $1.5 million in a pre-seed funding round

Egypt property-tech startup Partment raises $1.5 million in a pre-seed funding round
Updated 28 September 2022

Egypt property-tech startup Partment raises $1.5 million in a pre-seed funding round

Egypt property-tech startup Partment raises $1.5 million in a pre-seed funding round

RIYADH: Egypt-based property technology startup Partment raised $1.5 million in a pre-seed funding round led by venture capital firm Nclude.

The company will use its acquired funding to deploy its platform by offering a solution for home co-ownership in Egypt.

Founded in 2022, the platform allows users to explore different listings of homes and co-own properties with 40+ nights per year to use the property.

“Partment is a new concept in Egypt, and we believe it will change how people buy and use real estate in the local and international market,” Nadim Nagui, CEO at Partment, said in a statement.


MAWANI achieves 14% increase in container volume this year

MAWANI achieves 14% increase in container volume this year
Updated 28 September 2022

MAWANI achieves 14% increase in container volume this year

MAWANI achieves 14% increase in container volume this year

RIYADH: The Saudi Ports Authority, MAWANI, has achieved an increase in the volume of handling containers during the current year by 14 percent to reach 212 million tons.

The head of the Public Transport Authority, Rumaih Al-Rumaih, said at the Saudi Maritime Conference the King Abdulaziz Port now stands 14th in the world for container volume — up from 88th.

The Kingdom’s strategic location and its view of the most important waterways for world trade contributed to the transit of 70 percent of the Kingdom’s imports and 90 percent of its exports, Al-Rumaih added. 

Meanwhile, MAWANI signed agreements to establish five logistic zones in Jeddah Islamic Port with an investment value of nearly SR2 billion ($531 million), the head of Saudi Ports Authority, Omar Al-Hariri said. 

The Kingdom has all the ingredients for success, and through the national transport strategy, we will reach a bright future, Al-Rumaih added.