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Commerce and industry minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Hamad Al-Thani has been appointed to chair Qatar’s free zones regulator, replacing Ahmed Al-Sayed who had led QFZA for more than seven years.

Qatar
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A deal between Abu Dhabi giant Adnoc and UK major BP to co-invest in Egyptian gas assets highlights how wealthy Gulf national oil companies are seeking lower-carbon expansion opportunities across Africa, with actors from Qatar and Kuwait also among those on the hunt.

Kuwait | Saudi Arabia | United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Qatar
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Sheikh Mansour Ibrahim Ahmed Hamad Al-Mualla has been appointed as executive director of the emirate’s Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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QatarEnergy has launched the North Field West project to produce 16m t/yr of liquefied natural gas and take total output to 142m t/yr before the end of the decade, almost double the existing production of 77m t/yr, which has already given Qatar a dominant role in the global LNG market

Qatar
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Saudi Aramco has increased the amount of proven gas reserves in the kingdom’s largest non-associated gas field by 15tcf, taking the total estimated resources at Jafurah to 229tcf

Saudi Arabia
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Prime Minister Mohammed Al-Sudani’s government is looking for a new international partner to take on Shell’s 49% stake in the 1.8m t/yr Nebras petrochemicals project in Basra province, after the European major pulled out of the much-delayed scheme

Iraq
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In a $66.5m deal with Houston-headquartered Vaalco Energy, Saudi-Ethiopian businessman Mohammed Hussein Ali Al-Amoudi is selling Svenska Petroleum Exploration, his Sweden-based oil company that has been up for sale since bankruptcy proceedings were launched against Al-Amoudi’s Petroswede in early 2023

Saudi Arabia
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Regional elections are expected, with further delays: A polling day for the long-delayed sixth set of elections to the Kurdistan Parliament has yet to be announced. In August 2023, Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) President Nechirvan Barzani issued a decree scheduling the elections for 25 February.

Iraq
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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mid-February tour of the UAE and Qatar followed the signing of big energy supply deals and the release of former Indian naval officers sentenced to death in Doha for spying.

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Abu Dhabi National Oil Company is setting up a joint venture with BP focused on natural gas exploration and production in Egypt.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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Despite international criticism of its nuclear power programme – which critics allege is a cover for developing atomic weapons – the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran is pushing ahead with plans to develop 20GW of nuclear generating capacity by 2041.

Iran
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The Saudi government has told Saudi Aramco to scrap a plan to increase its maximum production capacity to 13m b/d, as first announced in March 2020. It is not clear how much progress Aramco had made in pursuing the goal.

Saudi Arabia
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UAE state minister for foreign affairs Sheikh Shakhbut Bin Nahyan Al-Nahyan has been on another African tour in January, visiting the capitals of Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda, as well as Angola’s Cabinda province, as the UAE look to continue recent momentum for investments and wider engagement in Africa.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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In a rare inward investment into Yemen, Oman’s Salalah Mills is paying $6.5m for a 50% stake in a grain mills and silos business in Mukalla, Hadhramaut government, which it will run with an unnamed Yemeni partner.

Yemen | Oman
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The US and UK have announced sanctions on four senior Houthi figures linked to the campaign against commercial shipping in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. GSN’s latest map of the Yemen/Red Sea conflict zone shows a conflict zone where more than 30 ships have been targeted by Houthi missiles and drones since mid-November, forcing hundreds more vessels to divert around the southern tip of Africa – adding costs and delays to global trade.

Yemen