Iraq signs MoU with Siemens, Shlumberger for investment in gas

Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Affairs and Oil Minister Hayan Abdul Ghani said the MoU aligns with the ministry’s plan to utilize associated gas for electricity production.
Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Affairs and Oil Minister Hayan Abdul Ghani said the MoU aligns with the ministry’s plan to utilize associated gas for electricity production.
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Updated 31 March 2024
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Iraq signs MoU with Siemens, Shlumberger for investment in gas

Iraq signs MoU with Siemens, Shlumberger for investment in gas

BAGHDAD: Iraq on Sunday signed a memorandum of understanding with Siemens Energy and Schlumberger to tackle curb gas flaring and channel the captured resource to boost the country’s power generation capacity.

Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Affairs and Oil Minister Hayan Abdul Ghani said the MoU aligns with the ministry’s plan to utilize associated gas for electricity production. “This will provide productive and valuable energy to support power plants and the national grid,” he said at a press conference following the signing ceremony.

“The MoU paves the way for joint ventures with the technology giants,” Abdul Ghani said.

Praising the collaboration, German Embassy Chargé d'Affaires Maximilian Rach expressed his country’s support for Iraq’s efforts to increase its energy production and reduce carbon emissions. He expressed hope that the partnership would expand to other sectors.

Muhannad Al-Saffar, director of Siemens Energy Iraq, emphasized the MoU’s significance as a launchpad for long-term cooperation that will ultimately halt gas flaring and process the captured gas for power generation. “This will contribute to achieving energy security, minimizing imports, and protecting the environment,” he said.

The undersecretary for gas affairs at the Ministry of Oil, Izzat Saber, said: “Cooperation with major international companies will bolster the electricity sector, optimize expenditures, and ensure environmental protection.”

Wissam Al-Azm, Schlumberger Iraq general manager, highlighted the joint commitment to developing solutions and leveraging cutting-edge technologies for a sustainable energy future.


Oil Updates — crude steadies, weighed down by predicted surplus amid weak demand

Oil Updates — crude steadies, weighed down by predicted surplus amid weak demand
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Oil Updates — crude steadies, weighed down by predicted surplus amid weak demand

Oil Updates — crude steadies, weighed down by predicted surplus amid weak demand

SINGAPORE: Oil prices steadied on Tuesday after falling for the past two sessions, as investors remained cautious amidst expectations of plentiful supplies and weak demand, while brushing off the US presidential campaign upheaval, according to Reuters.

Brent crude futures for September rose 11 cents to $82.51 a barrel by 09:45 a.m. Saudi time. US West Texas Intermediate crude for September climbed 5 cents to $78.45 per barrel.

Traders mostly ignored US President Joe Biden’s decision to call off his reelection bid and endorse Vice President Kamala Harris on Sunday. Citi analysts said they believed neither Harris nor Republican nominee Donald Trump would promote policies that would greatly affect oil and gas operations.

Instead, the market focused on fundamentals, which Morgan Stanley analysts said were likely to balance out by the fourth quarter and rise to a supply surplus by next year, which would drag down Brent prices to the mid-to-high $70s per barrel range.

Any uptick in oil prices was more because of market consolidation and dip buying activity, said Priyanka Sachdeva, senior market analyst at Phillip Nova.

“Any further weakening of demand signals, combined with a resolution in Gaza, could lead to a further decrease in oil prices,” Sachdeva said, adding that a swell in US inventories last week would be a sign of dented demand.

The American Petroleum Institute, a trade group, is due to release its estimates for last week’s oil inventories on Tuesday, while official US government data is scheduled to land on Wednesday.

A preliminary Reuters poll of six analysts estimated that US crude stocks, on average, fell by 2.5 million barrels in the week to July 19, while gasoline stocks likely dropped by 500,000 barrels.

The market is also watching developments in Russia. The Tuapse oil refinery, its biggest on the Black Sea, was damaged in a major Ukrainian drone attack that sparked a fire, Russian officials said on Monday, though the extent of the damage was not immediately clear.

“Further strikes on Russian refinery capacity would support refined product prices, due to lower output, and somewhat bearish for crude oil, as it would increase availability of crude oil for export,” said ING market strategists in a note.


Pakistani PM sets sights on annual exports of $60 billion in 3 years

Pakistani PM sets sights on annual exports of $60 billion in 3 years
Updated 4 min 53 sec ago
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Pakistani PM sets sights on annual exports of $60 billion in 3 years

Pakistani PM sets sights on annual exports of $60 billion in 3 years
  • Pakistan’s exports in previous fiscal year crossed $30 billion, says Shehbaz Sharif
  • Directs power ministry to develop plan to provide low-cost electricity to industries

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday tasked authorities to increase Pakistan’s annual exports to $60 billion within three years, stressing the need to resolve exporters’ complaints as Islamabad seeks to enhance its foreign exchange reserves while grappling with a macroeconomic crisis. 

Pakistan is trying to navigate a tricky path to recovery from a prolonged economic crisis that has seen the South Asian country’s national currency weaken, its reserves plummet and inflation rise to a record high over the last two years. To stabilize its fragile $350 billion economy, Islamabad has increasingly sought to establish trade and investment relations with regional allies in recent months. 

Sharif chaired a meeting of Pakistan’s National Export Development Board on Tuesday to take stock of the country’s exports and discuss ways to enhance them. 

“The Ministry of Commerce and other institutions should take practical steps to achieve the target of taking exports to $60 billion in the next three years,” the prime minister was quoted as saying by his office. 

Sharif noted that Pakistan’s annual exports had crossed the $30 billion mark during the previous fiscal year, adding that the government’s policies took the country’s IT exports to over $3.2 billion. He directed authorities to resolve exporters’ complaints and submit a report to him within two weeks. 

“We salute the businesspersons and investors who have played their role in increasing Pakistan’s exports despite difficult conditions,” Sharif said, according to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

The prime minister called for reducing the delivery time Pakistani goods take to reach Europe and America, saying that this could be achieved by solving problems related to shipping. He emphasized increasing the quality of Pakistani exports through research and development, innovation and brand development. He directed Pakistan’s power ministry to present a comprehensive plan through which low-cost electricity is provided to industries.

Sharif warned Pakistan’s tax authority, the Federal Board of Revenue, (FBR) against delaying refunds to exporters, urging trade officers in Pakistan’s missions abroad to promote the country’s exports and guide exporters on increasing their sales.
 


Riyadh Air signs 5-year deal to use GE Aerospace’s software

Riyadh Air signs 5-year deal to use GE Aerospace’s software
Updated 23 July 2024
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Riyadh Air signs 5-year deal to use GE Aerospace’s software

Riyadh Air signs 5-year deal to use GE Aerospace’s software
  • Partnership will equip airline with data-driven analytics

LONDON: Riyadh Air signed a five-year agreement on Monday to use GE Aerospace’s flight operations software, the airline has announced.

The partnership will equip the new Saudi Arabian airline with data-driven analytics to optimize fuel consumption, enhance safety measures, and fortify its sustainability initiatives, a statement said.

It added that the Fuel Insight software will help Riyadh Air position itself as a leader in sustainable aviation.

The airline will also use real-time Flight Data Monitoring and Flight Operations Quality Assurance to ensure high standards of safety and quality across its advanced fleet.

Riyadh Air’s use of FlightPulse technology will allow pilots to identify opportunities for improvement and help maintain best practices in safety and efficiency across the airline’s flight operations.

Peter Bellew, chief operating officer at Riyadh Air, said: “Sustainability and efficiency sit at the core of our operations.

“Our collaboration with GE Aerospace represents a significant advancement in adopting state-of-the-art technology to enhance safety protocols, streamline fuel usage, and uphold our dedication to operational excellence, as we are currently preparing for flight trials and working towards obtaining AOC certification, starting (in) September 2024.”

Andrew Coleman, general manager of software at GE Aerospace, said: “With an incredible partner like Riyadh Air, we are thrilled to see our decades of research, development, and innovation empower their transformative digital journey to help them set new benchmarks for operational excellence, safety standards, and more sustainability in the skies.”


Saudi GACA, Germany’s Lilium sign MoU to boost air mobility roadmap   

Saudi GACA, Germany’s Lilium sign MoU to boost air mobility roadmap   
Updated 22 July 2024
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Saudi GACA, Germany’s Lilium sign MoU to boost air mobility roadmap   

Saudi GACA, Germany’s Lilium sign MoU to boost air mobility roadmap   

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation has inked a deal with German electric vertical take-off and landing vehicle manufacturer Lilium, propelling the Kingdom’s advanced air mobility roadmap.

The memorandum of understanding, signed between the authority and the aerospace firm at the Farnborough International Airshow, supports GACA’s development of AAM solutions in the Kingdom, according to a statement. 

This comes as the authority collaborates with stakeholders and companies globally to create a thorough national plan for AAM. 

This strategy encompasses the essential elements and regulatory framework needed to ensure AAM technologies’ secure and effective integration. During the implementation phase, the focus will be on incorporating eVTOL operations with existing aviation systems and other transportation modes.

The newly signed MoU falls in line with the authority’s engagement with global companies to bring new aviation mobility solutions to Saudi Arabia.

It also aligns well with GACA’s continuous efforts across the industry to ensure the Kingdom has regulations that encourage growth, ensure the highest levels of safety, and put passengers first.

“This agreement reflects GACA’s commitment to advancing innovative and sustainable air mobility solutions for Saudi Arabia in support of Vision 2030,” GACA President Abdulaziz Al-Duailej said. 

“By working with global advanced air mobility companies, we aim to establish a robust regulatory framework that ensures the safe and efficient operation of eVTOL aircraft,” Al-Duailej added. 

From Lilium’s side, CEO Klaus Roewe said: “Our goal is to jointly advance regulatory and practical steps for suitable framework conditions for electric aviation and our customers in Saudi Arabia.”

He added: “Today’s agreement delivers on one of the main ingredients required to successfully launch eVTOL operations — a definitive path to all relevant regulatory cornerstones.”

The announcement builds on the momentum of recent successful air taxi trials in support of GACA’s AAM roadmap development, the statement added. 

Last week, Lilium confirmed that it is making its debut in Saudi Arabia with a groundbreaking agreement to supply up to 100 eVTOL vehicles to Saudia, the Kingdom’s first national carrier.

The formalization of this agreement came after a framework deal was initially arranged in late 2022, making Saudia the first airline in the region to invest in sustainable air mobility. 


Saudi logistics platform OTO secures $8m funding for UAE and Turkiye expansion

Saudi logistics platform OTO secures $8m funding for UAE and Turkiye expansion
Updated 42 min 9 sec ago
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Saudi logistics platform OTO secures $8m funding for UAE and Turkiye expansion

Saudi logistics platform OTO secures $8m funding for UAE and Turkiye expansion

RIYADH: Saudi logistics platform OTO is set to expand into the UAE and Turkiye, following a successful SR30 million ($8 million) series A funding round. 

The company announced that the financing was led by Sanabil Investments, a wholly-owned entity of the Public Investment Fund, with additional contributions from Sadu Capital, and Iliad Partners. Propeller and Soma Capital also participated in the deal, according to a press release. 

This follows a previous raise of SR12.3 million from venture capital funds and angel investors including Middle East Venture Partners, Derayah Ventures, and 500 Global.  

This investment supports Saudi Arabia's National Logistics Strategy, which seeks to rank the Kingdom among the top 10 countries globally in performance in the sector by the end of the decade, in line with Vision 2030 objectives. 

Mohammad Al-Razaz, co-founder and CEO of OTO, said: “Securing this funding round is a testament to our team’s dedication and our commitment to transforming the shipping and logistics sector in line with Saudi Vision 2030.”   

The company claims its platform integrates with over 250 local and international shipping companies and e-commerce platforms, enabling merchants to manage, ship, track, and analyze their logistics activities.   

The platform also offers merchants the option to connect their own shipping contracts or purchase shipping labels at pre-negotiated rates. 

He added: “We are focused on delivering innovative solutions that enable merchants to streamline their operations and manage logistics with unmatched efficiency.”

Investor confidence in OTO’s platform is bolstered by projections showing Saudi Arabia’s e-commerce revenue is expected to grow at 13.5 percent annually through 2027, outpacing the global average growth rate of 11.2 percent, according to Agility Logistics. 

The platform plans to use this funding to expand its presence in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Turkiye by adding new features and enhancing its platform, focusing on small and medium-sized businesses and e-commerce merchants. 

The release stated that the Turkish e-commerce market is projected to grow at an annual rate of 11.58 percent from 2024 to 2029, reaching $49.5 billion by 2029.   

“The last few years have put a significant spotlight on the shipping industry and increased the need for smart shipping solutions. OTO has built a platform with a fully integrated set of functionalities to help companies of all shapes and sizes meet their logistics requirements,” a spokesperson from Sanabil Investments stated.  

OTO serves over 10,000 local and international brands and has seen its revenue double along with a notable increase in orders processed year-over-year. 

Furkan Uzar, chief technology officer and co-founder of OTO, said that this funding propels the company toward its vision of becoming the shipping gateway of the internet.   

“By bridging the tech gap between sales channels and shipping providers, we can accelerate our growth and offer customers streamlined, automated shipping solutions,” he added.