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Updates on Regional and international organisations: Another Kuwaiti GCC secretary-general Regional electricity interconnection Support for Palestinians Arab League intellectual property committee World Bank leadership Updates on Opec and energy markets: Bumper year for revenues Opec+ holds solid Alternatives to the dollar? China and India are key players

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Leaked Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) documents suggest the region’s crude oil production could reach 580,000 b/d by 2027, compared to about 430,000 b/d in 2022 – but only under the most optimistic scenario where investment is fully optimised.

Iraq
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A hydrocarbons law in Iraq is in the offing, which could provide a stable revenue-sharing platform for years to come, but big obstacles remain to be resolved, leaving Iraqi Kurds in political and financial limbo, while the Kurdish regional oil industry stutters even as big gas developments are being promoted.

Iraq
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The mountainous province in Saudi Arabia's south-west has been earmarked as a future centre for tourism, notwithstanding the threats posed by attacks from Houthi rebels across the border in Yemen. Asir could be a model for Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s post-oil development ambitions, as well as for more short-term efforts to stabilise potentially restless populations.

Saudi Arabia | Yemen
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Following threats to refer firms to the General Authority for Competition, the Public Investment Fund has acquired shareholdings in four major contracting companies, giving PIF chair Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman an equity stake he has long had his eye.

Saudi Arabia
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The Saudi Fund for Development has agreed to inject $320m into a joint project to build the infrastructure to support a new special economic zone (SEZ) in Oman’s Al-Dhahirah governorate.

Saudi Arabia | Oman
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QatarEnergy has bought a 30% stake in two offshore blocks in Lebanon in an agreement with France's TotalEnergies and Italian major Eni.

Qatar
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The Iraqi government has said it plans to launch a sixth licensing round in the near future, as it makes a renewed effort to boost domestic production of natural gas and reduce imports which it says are costing the state some ID10trn ($6.9bn) a year.

Iraq
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Oman LNG signed a binding term-sheet agreement with China International United Petroleum and Chemical Company (Unipec) to supply 1m tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) a year for four years, starting in 2025. Oman LNG also signed a ten-year, 1m/yr deal with Turkey’s Botas Petroleum Pipeline Corporation.

Oman
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The Industrialisation and Energy Service Company ("TAQA") announced the closure of its 100% acquisition of Al Mansoori Petroleum Services ("AMPS"), expanding TAQA's Well Solutions business internationally.

Saudi Arabia
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Ever more for Aramco trading: Saudi Aramco announced on 18 January that its Aramco Trading Company (ATC) arm had acquired United States-based Motiva Trading and launched a new subsidiary, Aramco Trading Americas (ATA). The latter will be the sole supplier and offtaker for Motiva Enterprises, which owns the 630,000 b/d Port Arthur refinery, the largest refinery in North America. Aramco had taken full control of the refinery in 2017, buying out its partner Royal Dutch Shell.

Saudi Arabia
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Gas production started at the Mabrouk North-East field at Block 10 in Oman, according to operator Shell. The international oil company has a 53.45% working interest in the block. Its partners are state-owned OQ (13.36%) and Marsa Liquefied Natural Gas, a joint venture between OQ and France’s TotalEnergies (33.19%).

Oman
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Emirates Water and Electricity Company (Ewec) issued a request for proposals (RFP) in January for a 1.5GW solar photovoltaic independent power project in the Ajban area of Abu Dhabi. It is the third major solar plant by Ewec, following the 1.2GW Noor Abu Dhabi and the 1.58GW Al-Dhafra projects.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) has signed two critical contracts for its Hail and Ghasha sour gas development, paving the way for engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts on the multi-billion-dollar scheme to be lined up, possibly before the end of this year.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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Iraq’s Prime Minister Mohammad Shia Al-Sudani travelled to Berlin in January for an official visit – his first to Europe since taking office in October. Energy and security issues dominated the agenda, with discussions about potential Iraqi gas supplies to Germany and the ongoing work by Siemens Energy to rehabilitate Iraq’s electricity sector, following a deal with the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity in 2019.

Iraq