Kuwait inaugurates massive causeway to free trade zone

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Sunset view of the arch pylon on the Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad Al-Sabah Causeway which will lead to the Future Silk City, in Kuwait Bay, Kuwait April 23, 2019. (Reuters)
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A night view of the arch pylon on the Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad Al-Sabah Causeway which will lead to the Future Silk City, in Kuwait Bay, Kuwait April 23, 2019. Picture taken April 23, 2019. (Reuters)
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Aerial view of the arch pylon on the Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad Al-Sabah Causeway which will lead to the Future Silk City, in Kuwait Bay, Kuwait April 23, 2019. (Reuters)
Updated 01 May 2019

Kuwait inaugurates massive causeway to free trade zone

KUWAIT CITY: Kuwait on Wednesday inaugurated one of the world’s longest causeways, linking the oil-rich Gulf state’s capital to an uninhabited border region set to become a major free trade hub.
The 36-kilometer (22-mile) bridge connects Kuwait City to the northern desert area of Subbiya, where Kuwait aims to create the “Silk City” project linking the Gulf to central Asia and Europe.
The “Jaber” bridge, named after late ruler Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, spans 36 kilometers (22 miles), three-quarters of it over water.
It cuts the driving time between Kuwait City and Subbiya, close to both Iraq and Iran, from 90 minutes to less than half an hour.
Investment in the Silk City project is expected to top $100 billion, and a 5,000-megawatt power plant has already been built in Subbiya.
The $3.6 billion causeway, designed by Paris-based engineering and consulting group Systra, took five years to build.
The work was carried out by a consortium led by South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering and Construction Co. along with Kuwait’s Combined Group Contracting Co.
The opening ceremony was attended by Kuwait’s emir, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah along with South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon and the leader of the French senate, Gerard Larcher.
Lee Nak-yeon said Wednesday the causeway would establish Kuwait as an international trade center.


Oil recoups losses as OPEC, US Fed see robust economy

Updated 14 November 2019

Oil recoups losses as OPEC, US Fed see robust economy

  • US-China trade deal will help remove ‘dark cloud’ over oil, says Barkindo

LONDON: Oil prices reversed early losses on Wednesday after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said it saw no signs of global recession and rival US shale oil production could grow by much less than expected in 2020.

Also supporting prices were comments by US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, who said the US economy would see a “sustained expansion” with the full impact of recent interest rate cuts still to be felt.

Brent crude futures stood roughly flat at around $62 per barrel by 1450 GMT, having fallen by over 1 percent earlier in the day. US West Texas Intermediate crude was at $56 per barrel, up 20 cents or 0.4 percent.

“The baseline outlook remains favorable,” Powell said.

OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo said global economic fundamentals remained strong and that he was still confident that the US and China would reach a trade deal.

“It will almost remove that dark cloud that had engulfed the global economy,” Barkindo said, adding it was too early to discuss the output policy of OPEC’s December meeting.

HIGHLIGHT

  • US oil production likely to grow by just 0.3-0.4 million barrels per day next year — or less than half of previous expectations.
  • The prospects for ‘US crude exports had turned bleak after shipping rates jumped last month.’

He also said some US companies were now saying US oil production would grow by just 0.3-0.4 million barrels per day next year — or less than half of previous expectations — reducing the risk of an oil glut next year.

US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday Washington and Beijing were close to finalizing a trade deal, but he fell short of providing a date or venue for the signing ceremony.

“The expectations of an inventory build in the US and uncertainty over the OPEC+ strategy on output cuts and US/China trade deal are weighing on oil prices,” said analysts at ING, including the head of commodity strategy Warren Patterson.

In the US, crude oil inventories were forecast to have risen for a third straight week last week, while refined products inventories likely declined, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Tuesday.

ANZ analysts said the prospects for US crude exports had turned bleak after shipping rates jumped last month.