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Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al-Baker announced his retirement after 27 years at the helm – during which time the national carrier has been transformed beyond recognition. He will be replaced by Hamad International Airport chief operating officer Badr Mohammed Al-Meer.

Qatar
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Emirati Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Juma Al-Maktoum has been involved in a number of business deals around Africa. During the Covid pandemic, he was connected to efforts to sell Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine in several countries in Africa and Asia. 

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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A Dubai-based company backed by a well-connected but relatively low-profile member of Dubai's ruling Al-Maktoum family has been signing deals across Africa to generate carbon credits – while generating some controversy in the process.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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Turkish attacks: Türkiye (Turkey) launched a sustained aerial bombardment of Kurdistan Workers’ party (PKK) bases in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) in early October, following a suicide bombing at the Ministry of Interior building in Ankara on the opening day of the month, a few hours ahead of the reopening of the Turkish parliament after a three-month summer recess.

Iraq
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Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani laid the foundation stone of the North Field Expansion Project in Ras Laffan early October. The project will raise Qatar's liquefied natural gas (LNG) production capacity from 77m t/yr to 126m t/yr by 2026. 

Qatar
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A plan by Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) and British major BP to jointly buy a 50% stake in Israel's NewMed Energy, the largest shareholder in the offshore Leviathan gas field, may yet collapse after a panel set up by NewMed to review their $2bn offer recommended a higher price tag.

United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Israel
Issue 1178 - 13 October 2023

Bahrain: Eni pulls out of offshore block

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Italian major Eni has withdrawn from Block 1, relinquishing a licence it gained in 2019 and casting fresh doubt on Bahrain's ability to exploit its offshore resources. 

Bahrain
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QatarEnergy has been awarded the East Port Said exploration block as part of the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company's 2022 international bid round. It has also applied for offshore oil and gas blocks 8 and 10 in Lebanon, in a consortium with Eni and TotalEnergies.

Qatar
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Two Saudi state-owned bodies, the Public Investment Fund (PIF) and Saudi Electricity Company (SEC), launched a new electric vehicle (EV) charging company on 8 October, in which ownership is split 75/25 in the PIF’s favour.

Saudi Arabia
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Amini death anniversary: Iran marked the first anniversary of the death in custody of 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini on 16 September. Her death  had sparked widespread protests across the Islamic republic, which were eventually suppressed by the authorities. In the run-up, the authorities had launched a concerted effort to dissuade anyone from marking the anniversary, although some protests still went ahead.

Iran
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Saudi Arabia’s announcement that it would extend its 1m b/d production cut until the end of the year – backed by Opec+ partner Russia’s commitment to extend its 300,000 b/d export cut – moved the price of marker Brent crude back above $90/bbl for the first time since November 2022.

Saudi Arabia
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Saudi Aramco said it was buying a minority stake in liquefied natural gas (LNG) company MidOcean Energy for $500m, with an option to buy more shares in the future. It is the Saudi giant’s first international LNG investment. 

Saudi Arabia
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Qatar’s ambassador to Australia Saad Abdulla Al-Mahmoud Al-Shareef and Qatar Airways executives are expected to be called to testify at an enquiry by the Australian Senate over a growing scandal around the Canberra government’s alleged protection of local flag carrier Qantas against international competition.

Qatar
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Recent data give some grounds for optimism that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s bets on stimulating non-oil growth and liberalising society is yielding dividends, but an IMF report and other recent analysis show just how much further the country needs to go to end its dependency on oil and gas revenues.

Saudi Arabia
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Recent gloomy reports on a downturn in Saudi economic growth were underpinned by the announcement that Riyadh was extending its 1m b/d production cut until end-2023. However, the higher prices are not enough to make up for the fall in output. 

Saudi Arabia