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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.

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Recently-appointed Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) chief executive Sheikh Nawaf Saud Al-Sabah has reshuffled the senior management of the state-owned group’s main subsidiaries, in the latest sign of change in the country’s energy sector.

Kuwait
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Saudi Arabia’s Ajlan & Bros Holding Group plans to set up a mining and metals exchange in a joint venture with National Stock Exchange of Australia (NSX), which could serve to deepen the local market and continue the family-owned conglomerate’s rapid growth.

Saudi Arabia
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Oslo Stock Exchange-listed DNO confirmed that it had bought Mondoil Enterprises from RAK Petroleum plc (RAK-P), which is now delisting from the Oslo Børs as the Ras Al-Khaimah enterprise will be liquidated in an arrangement agreed with UK commercial courts. The Mondoil funds will be distributed to RAK-P shareholders.

Iraq | United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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Norway's DNO confirmed that it had bought Mondoil Enterprises from the UAE’s RAK Petroleum. Mondoil holds a 33.3% stake in Foxtrot International, which has interests in offshore gas and associated liquids in Côte d'Ivoire. The move is part of DNO’s efforts to expand beyond its current focus areas of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and the North Sea.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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Tempers are fraying over the early-October decision by members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies in the Opec+ group to cut oil production. The most prominent members, Russia and Saudi Arabia, remain in a cosy alliance and western efforts to drive a wedge between Moscow and the Gulf countries have yet to show any returns. Riyadh and Abu Dhabi seem unfazed by any possible reputational risks, while they continue to sweat the global economy for revenues.

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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz arrived in Jeddah on 24 September, where he was received at the airport by Mecca region governor Prince Khaled Al-Faisal and finance minister Mohammed Bin Abdullah Al-Jadaan. He held talks with Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman at Al-Salam Palace before flying out later that day to the UAE, where the most important elements of his weekend tour were finalised.

United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Qatar
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Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) has been pushing his economic reform agenda in the days since being named prime minister. On 29 September, he unveiled a new strategy for Savvy Games Group, a subsidiary of the state-owned Public Investment Fund (PIF), with the aim of turning the kingdom into a hub for gaming and esports by 2030.

Saudi Arabia
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Paul Weir was named chief executive of Genel Energy on 3 October. The London Stock Exchange (LSE)-listed firm has interests in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq’s Sarta, Taq Taq and Tawke licences.

Iraq
Issue 1155 - 26 September 2022

Oman: Muscat makes use of oil windfall

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GSN Risk Grade – B3 Hydrocarbons windfall improves rating: Oman is expected to be among the region’s main beneficiaries from elevated oil prices in 2022-23. Along with reforms introduced on Sultan Haitham Bin Tariq Al-Said’s watch, this feeds into an improved economic outlook.

Oman
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The Netherlands government has contributed a further $7.5m to a United Nations-led scheme to secure the FSO Safar floating oil terminal. The vessel is moored off the coast of Hodeidah and at risk of breaking up or exploding, spilling more than 1m barrels of crude oil into the Red Sea and causing economic and environmental devastation.

Yemen
Issue 1155 - 23 September 2022

UAE: Adnoc looking at Gunvor bid

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Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) is in talks to buy all or part of commodities trader Gunvor Group, according to a 21 September Bloomberg report. Any deal is likely to see Gunvor combined with Adnoc’s own trading activities.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Issue 1155 - 23 September 2022

Shell: Beirut-born head for supermajor

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Lebanese-Canadian national Wael Sawan has been named the next chief executive of Shell, replacing Ben van Beurden from 1 January 2023. Sawan is currently director of integrated gas, renewables and energy solutions.

Issue 1155 - 23 September 2022

Oman: Majors sign for Block 11

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Oman’s Ministry of Energy and Minerals signed an exploration and production-sharing agreement on 16 September for onshore Block 11 with operator Shell (67.5% equity), TotalEnergies (22.5%) and state-owned OQ (10%).

Oman