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Riyadh has continued to tap a range of sources of finance to support investments in the domestic economy, with Aramco shares worth $11bn being sold and the Public Investment Fund issuing $830m in debt, pushing the PIF’s total debt burden close to $40bn.

Saudi Arabia
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Abu Dhabi National Oil Company’s decision to buy a 10% stake in Mozambique’s offshore Area 4 concession from Portugal’s Galp, at a cost of some $1.15bn, further positions the Emirate as a growing investor in African gas.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Issue 1187 - 17 May 2024

Oman in context

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Under Sultan Haitham Bin Tariq Al-Said and his longstanding predecessor Sultan Qaboos, Oman has carved out a distinctive place in the Gulf. With fewer oil and gas resources than most of its neighbours, the sultanate has followed a more low-key path on the international stage, building up a reputation as an important mediator to reduce tensions between regional and international powers.

Oman
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Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) is to develop a 2GW offshore wind project in Bahrain and is also part of the winning consortium for a 1.5GW solar power plant in its home market.

Bahrain | United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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A second natural gas discovery within six months has made the UAE company into the ‘sweetheart’ of the Indonesian exploration sector, but there will be challenges in balancing local expectations with Mubadala’s own objectives.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Nahyan has reportedly struck a multi-billion dollar deal with the under-pressure South Sudanese government, although questions remain about the ultimate source of funds accessed by the Abu Dhabi junior royal who previously raised his profile, in the wake of the Abraham Accords, by taking a stake in controversial Israeli football club Beitar Jerusalem, which soon collapsed.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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Governor Prince Turki Bin Talal has launched a regional tourism ‘identity’ for Asir to promote his province, which officials say is slated to receive over $13bn for its development by 2030, the majority of which should come from the Public Investment Fund.

Saudi Arabia
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Governments across the region have sought to manage potentially negative impacts of the Gaza conflict, as consumers have latched on to a boycott of US franchises to express their anger over Israel’s actions. While Omanis and Kuwaitis are notably enthusiastic, their Saudi and UAE peers seem less engaged in the protest but, whatever the public response, the boycotts highlight the potential for a dangerous divide to emerge between leaders and their subjects on the emotive Palestinian issue, which most regimes had come largely to ignore until Hamas launched its October attack.

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State-owned Hydrom has awarded the first two GH2 projects from its second auction round launched in mid-2023, with one licence going to a British/French/Japanese consortium and another to an Australian/British group.

Oman
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Baghdad and Ankara signed more than 24 agreements and memoranda of understanding during President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visit to the Iraqi capital. Defence, water and energy issues were to the fore, but there are still some policy mismatches, not least over attitudes to the Kurdish PKK militia group.

Iraq
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Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shiaa Al-Sudani travelled to Washington, Houston and Michigan in April, holding talks with US President Joe Biden, major energy and defence companies and members of the Iraqi diaspora.

Iraq
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Some $35bn worth of potential deals were announced during the Omani leader’s two-day state visit to neighbouring UAE, with the project to develop a rail link between Sohar port and Abu Dhabi now officially up and running – and among measures that could help improve previously sometimes strained relations.

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Four export deals have been signed by Oman LNG since mid-April, covering more than 4m t/yr of liquefied natural gas supplies and taking the total deal flow so far this year to 4.6m t/yr.

Oman
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Output at the offshore Belbazem block,  which consists of the Belbazem, Umm Al-Salsal and Umm Al-Dholouis fields, is due to ramp up to 45,000 b/d, helping Abu Dhabi National Oil Company on its way to reaching its target of 5m b/d production capacity by 2027.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund ADQ is buying a 49% stake in Alpha Dhabi Construction Holding, following a major real estate deal involving ADQ and IHC, another part of national security adviser Sheikh Tahnoun Bin Zayed’s business empire.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)