Oil Updates — Crude prices up as IEA raises demand forecast; Brazil’s Bolsonaro mum on Petrobras privatization

Update Oil Updates — Crude prices up as IEA raises demand forecast; Brazil’s Bolsonaro mum on Petrobras privatization
Norwegian oil firm DNO raised its guidance on Monday for output from Iraq’s Tawke license. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 11 August 2022

Oil Updates — Crude prices up as IEA raises demand forecast; Brazil’s Bolsonaro mum on Petrobras privatization

Oil Updates — Crude prices up as IEA raises demand forecast; Brazil’s Bolsonaro mum on Petrobras privatization

RIYADH: Oil prices rose on Thursday after the International Energy Agency raised its oil demand growth forecast for this year as soaring gas prices drive some consumers to switch to oil.

Brent crude futures were up 0.80 percent, to $98.18 a barrel at 01.50 p.m. Saudi time.

US West Texas Intermediate crude futures edged up 0.86 percent, at $92.72. 

Norway’s DNO raises its Tawke output forecast

Norwegian oil firm DNO raised its guidance on Monday for output from Iraq’s Tawke license and said the company now has more cash on its hands than debt for the first time since 2018.

Gross output from Tawke, located in the Iraqi Kurdish region, is now projected at between 107,000 and 109,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2022, up from a previous forecast of 105,000 boed, the company said in a statement.

“DNO is committed to put its capital to work in its core competency and capture new opportunities created as peers and even some of the largest European companies scale back spending,” Executive Chairman Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani said.

“We believe in the oil and gas business and in our responsibility to all stakeholders, including host governments who want to capitalize on current prices and consumers who now call for more production, not less,” he said.

Brazil’s Bolsonaro pledges privatizations if re-elected

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro did not mention privatizing state-controlled oil company Petrobras in his re-election plan released on Wednesday that promises to continue pursuing policies that reduce the size of the state.

“The government ... will proceed with reordering the state’s role in the economy, through privatization and divestment of state-owned companies, to focus on state participation in essential activities and in promoting Brazil’s economic, social and sustainable development,” the plan said.

The document contrasts with his 2018 election plan that dedicated specific pages to Petrobras. The company was not even mentioned this time, despite Mines and Energy Ministry Adolfo Sachsida requesting its privatization be studied. 

Shell launches sale of North Sea Cambo oil prospect: sources

Shell has launched a sale process for its 30 percent stake in the Cambo oil prospect in the British North Sea, potentially paving the way for the field’s controversial development, industry sources said on Thursday.

The London-based company hired investment bank Jefferies to run the sale process for the stake in Cambo, which has become a lightning rod for climate activists seeking to halt the development of new oil and gas resources.

The British government has, however, come out in support of developing North Sea oil and gas resources following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as Western countries focus on energy security despite commitments to slash greenhouse gas emissions in the coming decades.

Located in the West of Shetland region, the field is the second-largest undeveloped resource in the aging North Sea basin.

It is operated and 70 percent-owned by Ithaca Energy, which is owned by Israel’s Delek Group. 

IEA cuts Nigeria’s sustainable oil output capacity

The International Energy Agency has cut Nigeria’s sustainable oil output by about 200,000 barrels per day, the agency said in its July report, on the back of persistent technical issues and sabotage.

The IEA estimates Nigeria’s new sustainable capacity at around 1.3 million bpd. The West African country’s output has been steadily declining since 2019, in part due to the pandemic-related output cuts.

Sustainable output means the capacity level can be reached within 90 days and stay there for an extended period.

Nigeria combined with Angola accounted for nearly 40 percent of OPEC+’s 2.7 million bpd output target shortfall, the IEA said.

(With input from Reuters)


Saudi Arabia’s point-of-sale value rises to $3.4bn as food spending increases: SAMA

Saudi Arabia’s point-of-sale value rises to $3.4bn as food spending increases: SAMA
Updated 16 sec ago

Saudi Arabia’s point-of-sale value rises to $3.4bn as food spending increases: SAMA

Saudi Arabia’s point-of-sale value rises to $3.4bn as food spending increases: SAMA

CAIRO: Food and drink sales helped drive a 23 percent rise in point-of-sale transactions in Saudi Arabia in the week ending Oct. 1, the latest weekly data from the Saudi Central Bank revealed.

Sales grew by SR2.4 billion ($640 billion) last week to reach SR12.8 billion in what was the highest percentage rise since the week ending July 30.

POS is an economic term used to describe what is spent by consumers using their ATMs and credit cards in retail stores, shopping malls, and pharmacies, among others. 

This five-week peak fell just below SR13.5 billion worth of POS transactions recorded in the week ending on Sept. 3, showed the SAMA data. 

This spike was mainly driven by increased spending on food and beverage services, with the sector’s total POS transaction rising by SR681.3 million to reach SR2.1 billion in the week ending on Oct. 1, recording 47.9 percent growth over the previous week.

Of the 17 sectors, 16 saw a rise in the value of POS transactions:

  • Other — Up SR382.3 million; up SR1.2 million previous week
  • Miscellaneous goods and services — Up SR342.9 million; down SR4.9 million last week
  • Health — Up SR219.6 million; down SR7.6 million previous week 
  • Transportation — Up SR164.3 million; down SR30.7 million previous week 
  • Gas stations — Up SR102.3 million; down SR26.1 million last week 

The education sector witnessed the biggest percentage change in the week ending on Oct. 1 in both transaction value and number of transactions. 

The sector’s POS transaction value went up by 115.6 percent to reach SR184 million, while the number of POS transactions went up by 51.9 percent to hit 170,000. 

The only sector that recorded less POS transactions – both in number and value – in that week was the hotels. 

This sector’s POS value dropped by SR23.2 million to reach SR215.9 million, while the number of transactions dropped by 42,000 to reach 562,000 transactions. 

With regards to the number of POS transactions, food and beverages also led the way with an increase of 4.4 million transactions in that week to reach 37.2 million transactions. 

  • Restaurants and cafes — Up 3.7 million; down 0.5 million previous week
  • Miscellaneous goods and services — Up 2.9 million; down 0.9 million previous week
  • Other— Up 2.6 million; down 0.4 million previous week
  • Health — Up 1.6 million; down 0.5 million previous week
  • Gas stations — Up 1 million; down 0.4 million previous week

The city of Riyadh, which records the largest share of POS transactions, saw a 11.4 percent increase in the number of transactions in the week ending Oct. 1, compared to a 3.1 percent fall the week prior. 

The city witnessed a 20.2 percent rise in POS transaction value in the week ending Oct. 1, compared to only 0.3 percent the previous week. 

The Kingdom’s capital recorded a total POS value of SR4 billion, up by SR1 billion from the week before. 

As for the number of POS transactions in Riyadh, it rose by 7.7 million from the previous week, reaching 57.6 million in the week ending on Oct. 1. 

Jeddah followed with SR1.9 billion worth of POS transitions which increased by SR253.8 million in the week ending on Oct. 1.

The number of transactions in the city reached 21.9 million, up 1 million from the week before. 


Saudi GAC approves Al Hilal’s acquisition of Etihadat Abyan assets 

Saudi GAC approves Al Hilal’s acquisition of Etihadat Abyan assets 
Updated 14 min 31 sec ago

Saudi GAC approves Al Hilal’s acquisition of Etihadat Abyan assets 

Saudi GAC approves Al Hilal’s acquisition of Etihadat Abyan assets 

RIYADH: Saudi pharmaceutical firm Al Hilal Trading Co. has received the General Authority for Competition’s approval to acquire the assets of Etihadat Abyan Co..

Under the formal approval by the regulator, the acquired assets by Al Hilal Trading Co. include S Team and Mawj Al Hilal brands and the related four stores.

The deal will not significantly affect the sportswear market in the Kingdom, GAC said in a statement according to Argaam on Oct. 6. 

The intended acquisition will be done by transferring the assets to Al Hilal Trading Co., a subsidiary of Al Hilal Club Investment Co.. 

Last August, the Tadawul-listed online food delivery platform Jahez International Co for Information Systems Technology, partnered with Al Hilal Investment to set up an online marketing and sales firm.


MENA total startup funding drops 54% month-on-month: Wamda 

MENA total startup funding drops 54% month-on-month: Wamda 
Updated 32 min 38 sec ago

MENA total startup funding drops 54% month-on-month: Wamda 

MENA total startup funding drops 54% month-on-month: Wamda 

RIYADH: Startups in the Middle East and North Africa region raised $173 million across 51 deals in September, marking a 54 percent decrease compared to the month before. 

Saudi Arabia’s logistics startup TruKKer was responsible for the bulk of that funding as it secured a $100 million pre-initial public offering round, according to Wamda.

The Kingdom raised a total of $114 million in startup funding in just six deals, while the UAE had 12 deals with a total of $27 million. 

Aside from Trukker’s fundraise, fintech companies managed to get the highest amount of funding with $28 million followed by food tech startups with $22 million. 

Foreign investment was high in September as US investors participated in 11 deals while UK investors were the second active with seven deals. 


TASI ends the week lower on watch of unstable oil prices: Closing bell

TASI ends the week lower on watch of unstable oil prices: Closing bell
Updated 06 October 2022

TASI ends the week lower on watch of unstable oil prices: Closing bell

TASI ends the week lower on watch of unstable oil prices: Closing bell

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s main index ended the last trading session of the week lower as investors kept a keen eye on the unstable oil prices this week.

The Tadawul All Share Index slipped 0.11 percent to end Thursday at 11,757, while the parallel market Nomu finished almost flat at 20,223.

In the energy sector, Brent crude reached $93.22 per barrel, while WTI crude traded at $87.61 per barrel as of 3:14 p.m. Saudi time.

Saudi oil giant Aramco ended the session with a 0.14 percent increase, while Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co. edged up 1.21 percent.

The Saudi National Bank, the Kingdom’s largest lender, dropped 0.77 percent, while Saudi British Bank declined by 2.31 percent.

The Kingdom’s most valued bank Al Rajhi fell 0.71 percent, while Alinma Bank shed 0.26 percent.

Despite leading Wednesday’s fallers, Tihama Advertising and Public Relations Co. surged 9.81 percent, topping the market, after receiving the Capital Market Authority’s clearance to hike its capital by 700 percent.

Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Development Co. declined 2.87 percent to lead the fallers, closely followed by Riyad REIT Fund with a decline of 2.76 percent.


‘Hold back emissions, not progress’ says ADNOC chief in energy security warning

‘Hold back emissions, not progress’ says ADNOC chief in energy security warning
Updated 30 min 48 sec ago

‘Hold back emissions, not progress’ says ADNOC chief in energy security warning

‘Hold back emissions, not progress’ says ADNOC chief in energy security warning

RIYADH: The CEO of one of the region’s largest oil firms believes people in his position have a responsibility for energy security as he hit out at suggestions oil and gas production should be reduced.

Speaking at the Energy Intelligence Forum in London, Sultan Ahmed Al-Jaber, managing director and group CEO of Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., insisted that firms such as his need to be “in the room” when energy transition plans are drawn up.

Al-Jaber, who also serves as the UAE’s minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, warned that pulling the plug on current energy systems before developing new ones is misguided, as abandoning oil and gas production could take a toll on energy security. 

“We have seen that all progress starts and ends with energy security. And, as the world’s energy leaders, our responsibility in maintaining that energy security has never been more evident,” said Al-Jaber. 

He added: “We must all commit to mitigating the impact of global energy supplies, but let’s keep our focus on capturing carbon, not canceling production. Let’s hold back emissions, not progress.” 

According to Al-Jaber, energy transition is the most complex and capital-intensive project in human history, and a partnership with the energy sector is necessary to ensure a successful transformation. 

“For the energy transition to succeed, the energy professionals need to be in the room, as equal partners alongside all other stakeholders,” he said. 

He further noted that substantial investments are required in hydrocarbons, the energy source the world will rely upon in the future.

Al-Jaber revealed that the UAE is open to working with partners to mitigate the impact of hydrocarbons on the climate and build on its expertise to emerge as a reliable energy leader with zero carbon emissions. 

He noted that ADNOC is making use of advanced technologies, along with renewable solar and nuclear energy to reduce the carbon intensity of its oil and gas by a further 25 percent by the end of this decade. 

Al-Jaber added that ADNOC will also expand the use of carbon capture and storage. 

Speaking at the same event on Oct 4, Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said that global oil demand is expected to grow until 2030 and beyond, as the world has a flawed plan for the energy transition. 

During the speech, Nasser noted that alternatives to replace oil and gas are not ready yet and added that measures should be taken to decarbonize oil and gas, along with developing carbon capture and storage technology.