Saudi Arabia oil exports fall as trade fears keep prices in check

OPEC and its allies have agreed to limit output to support oil prices. (Reuters)
Updated 18 April 2019
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Saudi Arabia oil exports fall as trade fears keep prices in check

  • The world’s top oil exporter shipped 6.977 million bpd in February, down from 7.254 million bpd in January
  • Prices have been supported this year by an agreement reached by the OPEC and its allies, including Russia, to limit their oil output by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd)

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s crude oil exports fell by 277,000 barrels per day (bpd) in February from the month before, official data showed on Thursday.
The world’s top oil exporter shipped 6.977 million bpd in February, down from 7.254 million bpd in January, according to data from the Joint Organizations Data Initiative (JODI).
The Kingdom pumped 10.136 million bpd in February, down from 10.243 million bpd in January.
Saudi crude inventories rose to 204.567 million barrels in February from 200.834 million in January, the JODI data showed.
Refineries in the Kingdom processed 2.767 million bpd in February, up from 2.758 million bpd in January, according to JODI.
Prices have been supported this year by an agreement reached by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, including Russia, to limit their oil output by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd).
Global supply has been tightened further by US sanctions on OPEC members Venezuela and Iran.
Iran’s crude exports have dropped in April to their lowest daily level this year, tanker data showed and industry sources said, suggesting a reduction in buyer interest ahead of expected further pressure from Washington.
Indian refiners are turning to other OPEC members, Mexico and the US to make up for any loss of Iranian oil.
Spain’s Repsol has suspended its swaps of refined products for crude with Venezuela’s state-run oil company PDVSA, people familiar with the matter said, as US officials weigh penalties for foreign firms doing business with Venezuela.
Growing US oil production and concerns over the US-China trade dispute are keeping prices in check.
US crude oil output from seven major shale formations
was expected to rise by about 80,000 bpd in May to a record 8.46 million bpd, the EIA said in its monthly report on Monday. Surging US production has filled some of the gap in supplies, although not all of the lost production can be immediately replaced by US shale oil due to refinery configurations.
Saudi exports of refined oil products in February fell to 1.461 million bpd, from 1.616 million bpd the month before, the data showed.
The OPEC heavyweight used 259,000 bpd of crude oil to generate power in February, down from 377,000 bpd the month before, while Saudi demand for oil products in February was 2.157 million bpd, up slightly from 2.073 million bpd in January.
Monthly export figures are provided by Riyadh and other members of OPEC to JODI, which publishes them on its website.


British Airways to resume Pakistan flights next week after a decade

Updated 23 May 2019
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British Airways to resume Pakistan flights next week after a decade

  • BA halted service to Pakistan in the wake of the 2008 Marriott Hotel bombing in Islamabad
  • BA will begin the London Heathrow-Islamabad service with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner

ISLAMABAD: British Airways will resume flights to Pakistan next week a decade after it suspended operations following a major hotel bombing, becoming the first Western airline to restart flights to the South Asian country.

BA halted service to Pakistan in the wake of the 2008 Marriott Hotel bombing in the capital Islamabad that took place during a period of devastating Islamist militant violence in Pakistan.

Security has since improved, with militant attacks sharply down in the mainly Muslim country of 208 million people, reviving Pakistan as a destination for tourist and investors.

“The final touches are coming together for the airline’s return ahead of the first flight on Sunday June 2,” British Airways said in a statement. It will launch a three-per-week service to London Heathrow, it said.

“We’re on board,” Pakistani Civil Aviation spokeswoman Farah Hussain said about the flights resumption.

BA, which is owned by Spanish-registered IAG, will begin the London Heathrow-Islamabad service with the airline’s newest long-haul aircraft, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

At present, only loss-making national carrier Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flies directly from Pakistan to Britain, but its ageing fleet of planes is a frequent source of complaints by passengers.

Middle Eastern carriers Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways and Emirates have a strong presence in Pakistan and have been eating into PIA’s dwindling market share. Turkish Airlines also lays on a regular service to Pakistan.

Islamabad has been running international advertising campaigns to rejuvenate its tourism sector, which was wiped out by Islamist violence that destabilised the country following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in the United States and the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan.

“We hope customers in both the UK and Pakistan will enjoy the classically British service we offer, with thoughtful bespoke touches,” Andrew Brem, Chief Commercial Officer at British Airways, said in BA’s statement.

BA said there will be a halal meal option in every cabin and the airline would also ensure sauces in every meal do not contain alcohol or pork.