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Issue 1137 - 25 November 2021

Oman: EDO prepares $1.5bn bond issue

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Energy Development Oman (EDO) is preparing to issue a second bond by June, following its maiden bond issue in August 2020, when the new state energy holding company raised $2.5bn.

Oman
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Crown Prince and culture, sports and youth minister Theyazin Bin Haitham Al-Said married his first cousin Sayyida Meyyan Bint Shihab Al-Said in a service at the Mazay Hall in Al-Alam Palace in Muscat on 11 November.

Oman
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 The British aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth II, returning with escorts from its deployment to the Far East, has conducted joint training exercises with the Royal Navy of Oman off the Batinah coast. As Exercise White Shark concluded on 4 November, deputy prime minister for defence affairs Sayyid Shihab Bin Tarik Al-Said visited the aircraft carrier and watched as F-35 aircraft were launched.

Oman
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Moody’s Investors Service has revised its outlook on the Oman sovereign from negative to stable, citing the “significant easing of government liquidity and external financing pressures” as a result of higher oil prices.

Oman
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Talks on reviving the JCPOA Iran nuclear deal are soon to restart, but key players in the region are deeply sceptical that a positive outcome can be negotiated. Hardliners in Tehran appear more confident, while GCC states are questioning the US commitment to the region and Israel is accelerating preparations for covert and overt conflict

Israel | Bahrain | Kuwait | Saudi Arabia | Oman | Qatar
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Challenged by years of drift even before Covid-19 had a heavy impact on its economy, Oman has sought to revitalise its hydrocarbons industries since Sultan Haitham Bin Tariq Al-Said came to power. Institutions have been reconfigured and some big players continue to invest in gas, but overall the results are mixed.

Oman
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Oman and the United Kingdom have set up a new joint training facility 70km south of Duqm at Ras Madrakah. The area offers challenging and varied terrain and can be used for amphibious beach landing exercises. The British Army plans to contribute armoured battlegroups to two joint exercises in the first year, with four such exercises annually.

Oman
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The last stretch of tarmac on a 720km road linking Ibri in Oman with Al-Ahsa in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province was completed on 14 September, suggesting that the new crossing will open as planned before end-2021.

Saudi Arabia | Oman
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More than 130 companies took part in the 20-26 September. Iran-Oman Virtual Expo organised by the Tehran-based Iran-Oman Chamber of Commerce (IROMCC). The online conference was opened by Omani ambassador to Iran Ibrahim Bin Ahmed Bin Mohammed Al-Moeini.

Iran | Oman
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Influential Houthi leader Hassan Ali Al-Emad was arrested after crossing into Yemen via Oman’s Al-Mazyunah border checkpoint on 25 August, under a false identity; he had attempted to disguise that he had been travelling from Iran via Jordan. Al-Emad was arrested by Yemeni border security forces controlled by the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, according to Al-Mahrah police Colonel Ahmed Arfeet. Al-Emad’s whereabouts are unknown.

Yemen | Oman
Free

In contrast to the UAE’s public withdrawal from Yemen – where Emirati military forces formally pulled out last October, although it has retained a less widely publicised presence, notably on the islands of Socotra and Mayyun – Oman has steadily increased its influence in the worn-torn state.

Yemen | Oman | United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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Outgoing British ambassador to Oman Hamish Cowell has been holding farewell meetings with officials in Muscat; he was received by foreign minister Sayyid Badr Hamad Al-Busaidi on 6 September, ahead of his replacement by Bill Murray, who was named in July as the incoming envoy.

Oman
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Omani oil trader Mahmood Rashid Amur Al-Habsi has been sanctioned by the US Treasury Department for his links to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Qods Force and a smuggling network Washington claimed transported “oil shipments worth tens of millions of dollars”.

Iran | Oman
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 Following what GSN has been told was “a remarkable meeting of minds” during Sultan Haitham Bin Tariq Al-Said’s discussions with King Salman Abdelaziz at Neom on 11 July, both sides appear to be pushing to deepen bilateral economic ties.

Saudi Arabia | Oman
Free

On 22 July, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani inaugurated a new oil pipeline running from Goreh in Bushehr province to a terminal at Jask in Hormozgan province, on the Gulf of Oman. The 1,000km, 42-inch link provides a strategically important new export outlet for Iranian crude.

Saudi Arabia | Oman | United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Israel