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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)
Free

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

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
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.

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DP World is a principal tool in the UAE’s economic relationship with Russia. The Dubai-based ports and logistics giant has established itself as a leading actor in eastern Europe; it has a sizeable presence in the Black Sea and nearby areas, handling trade into and out of Russia and neighbouring countries.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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QatarEnergy is to develop the world’s largest blue ammonia project via its QatarEnergy Renewable Solutions (QRS) and Qatar Fertiliser Company (Qafco) subsidiaries. A $1bn engineering, procurement and construction contract was signed in late August for the Ammonia-7 project with ThyssenKrupp and Consolidated Contractors Company.

Qatar
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Qatar is gearing up for the start of the Fifa World Cup on 20 November, following a last-minute change in the tournament schedule. A massive public arts campaign is being rolled out – led by Qatar Museums chief Sheikha Al-Mayassa Al-Thani – to go alongside state-of-the-art stadium architecture. The authorities will be hoping sport and culture remain the focus, rather than criticism about workers’ rights or any untoward behaviour by fans, but as a Perspective article from GSN issue 1154 highlights, Qatar has successfully dealt with numerous other challenges in the run-up to being awarded the tournament in 2010.

Qatar
Issue 1154 - 11 September 2022

Abu Dhabi joins EV race with assembly plant

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The UAE’s state-owned Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (Kizad) signed a lease agreement on 6 September with NWTN (pronounced Newton) for an electric vehicle (EV) assembly plant in the industrial area. The plant will initially produce cars from kits manufactured in China. The first phase is due to be completed this year, with a production capacity of 5,000-10,000 EVs a year. A second phase could take output to 50,000/yr by Q1 2024.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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Energy and shipping are at the heart of the warm relations between Russia and the UAE, providing Moscow with an outlet to the world that avoids western sanctions. It is a relationship that might rankle with Washington, but appears to be in line with local public opinion, with polling suggesting that more Emiratis value good relations with Russia and China than with the United States.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)