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A project to build a port in Al-Mahra governorate to export limestone was approved by the Yemeni government in early January, but has sparked criticism from locals.

Yemen
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Oman's state energy company OQ signed an agreement with Saudi giant Sabic and Kuwait Petroleum International (KPI) in late December to develop a jointly-owned petrochemicals complex in the special economic zone at Duqm (Sezad).

Kuwait | Saudi Arabia | Oman
Issue 1161 - 13 January 2023

Riyadh targets strategic minerals assets

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Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden) has set up a joint venture with the sovereign Public Investment Fund (PIF) to invest in iron ore, copper, nickel and lithium assets around the world

Saudi Arabia
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For all United Nations special envoy to Yemen Hans Grundberg’s efforts at shuttle diplomacy, the continued failure to relaunch the UN-backed ceasefire – which ended in October – has raised the prospect of renewed threats to shipping in the waters around Yemen. This has particular resonance for the UAE, which has often resorted to using commercial vessels as part of its security response.

Yemen | United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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Accounts of Saudi energy policy are typically laden with caveats, given the inscrutability of decision-making in the kingdom. Saudi industry veteran Ibrahim Al-Muhannah’s new book Oil Leaders, however, offers an intriguing peak behind the curtain into Saudi and Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) oil politics since the late-1980s.

Saudi Arabia
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London-headquartered oil and gas company Gulfsands will formally open its new Middle East and North Africa (Mena) office at the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) on 16 January. Managing director John Bell told GSN the move to create Gulfsands Middle East reflected its new strategic focus on Mena markets, having divested other assets including acreage in Colombia.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Issue 1161 - 12 January 2023

UAE's Al-Jaber appointed to lead COP28

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The UAE government said on 12 January that Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) chief executive Sultan Al-Jaber has been appointed president of the 28th Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28), which is scheduled to be held in Dubai on 30 November-12 December.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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With a new government in place in Baghdad and a new oil minister in the shape of industry veteran Hayan Abdulghani, Iraq is looking to cement recent progress in its oil and gas sector, building on crude production that rose to average 4.5m b/d output at end-2022.

Iraq
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Iran has revived plans to build a nuclear power plant in Khuzestan province. The development comes amid other efforts by Tehran to further develop its electricity sector. Iran had completed an initial synchronisation exercise that was a necessary precursor to linking the electricity grid to Russia, through Azerbaijan and Armenia.

Iran
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QatarEnergy signed a 27-year deal with China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) to supply of 4m t/yr of liquified natural gas (LNG) to China. The agreement is the first long-term deal from Qatar’s North Field East (NFE) expansion project, which is expected to come online in 2026.

Qatar
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Saudi Arabia is laying claim to developing the world’s largest single-site solar photovoltaic (PV) plant, under a new joint venture between the local Acwa Power and the Water and Electricity Holding Company (Badeel), a subsidiary of the government’s Public Investment Fund (PIF). PIF also has a major stake in Acwa.

Saudi Arabia
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Ajman Crown Prince Sheikh Ammar Bin Humaid Al-Nuaimi attended the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on 20 November. Sheikhs from Dubai and Umm Al-Quwain also attended the final race of the 2022 Formula 1 season, as did many Al-Nahyan members, led by President Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed.  Earlier in November, Ammar Bin Humaid inaugurated a $19m liquid petroleum gas (LPG) facility, developed in Northern Sector Al-Jurf Industrial Area 3 by Ajman Gas Company.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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Iran appears to have resumed its campaign of striking tankers in the Gulf of Oman, after the Bahrain-based US Naval Forces Central Command (Navcent) reported that the Pacific Zircon oil products tanker had been struck by an Iranian-made explosive drone off Fujairah, en route to Argentina.

Iran | Oman
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G20 summit: UAE President Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan (MBZ) and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) led the Gulf’s representation at the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia on 15-16 November and held a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the summit on the first day.

Issue 1158 - 18 November 2022

Gulf countries carefully navigate COP27

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The United Nations climate summit COP27, held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt from 6-18 November, offered a venue for Gulf countries to restate their carbon cutting targets, while also providing an opportunity for wider diplomacy. The fact these countries are the ultimate source of much of the world’s carbon emissions was something that only rarely intruded on proceedings.