Saudi Arabia calls ‘urgent’ meeting of oil producers

A flame from a Saudi Aramco oil installion known as "Pump 3" is seen in the desert near the oil-rich area of Khouris, 160 kms east of the Saudi capital Riyadh, on June 23, 2008. (AFP)
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Updated 03 April 2020

Saudi Arabia calls ‘urgent’ meeting of oil producers

  • Crude prices jump after move, which Kingdom says is part of efforts ‘to support global economy in these exceptional circumstances’

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia has called an urgent meeting of the Organization of Oil Exporting Countries and other oil exporters, to discuss restoring the “desired balance” in global energy markets.

The move — which prompted a big jump in the price of oil on global markets — is part of the Kingdom’s “constant efforts to support the global economy in these exceptional circumstances, and in appreciation of the request of the President of the USA, Donald Trump, and the request of friends in the USA,” according to a statement published by the official Saudi news agency.

Global oil prices reacted immediately. Brent crude, the Middle East benchmark, increased by 20 percent, taking it back above $30 a barrel.

The price of crude has been under pressure as a result of collapsing demand due to the coronavirus crisis, and Saudi Arabia’s determination to win market share from American and Russian producers.

During an OPEC meeting in Vienna last month, the Kingdom offered to implement further cuts in oil production but Russia refused to participate.

“Saudi Arabia would like to underscore its efforts during the past period to restore balance in the oil market, as it drew support for that from 22 counties of the OPEC+, but it was not possible to reach an agreement or get consensus,” according to the official Saudi statement.

Oil industry expert Daniel Yergin said: “This represents a recognition of how much the world has changed for oil in a single month as demand falls away so dramatically, and the impact of Donald Trump becoming personally engaged.”

The Saudi call for talks came after a hectic round of communications between the US, Russia and the Kingdom.

In a message posted on Twitter after the Saudi announcement, Trump wrote: “I just spoke to my friend Mohammed bin Salman, crown prince of Saudi Arabia, who spoke with President Putin and I expect and hope that they will be cutting back approximately 10m barrels, and maybe substantially more, which will be great for the oil and gas industry.”

However, officials in Riyadh downplayed any suggestion of a commitment to specific reductions in the levels of oil output. There is no indication yet of when the “urgent” meeting of OPEC and others might happen, nor what will be on the agenda, they said.

President Vladimir Putin denied that he had spoken to the crown prince about the price of oil. Novosti, the official Russian news agency, said there was no such conversation, but added that the president had discussed falling oil prices with other OPEC members and with the US.

“The Americans are worried because of their profitability for shale oil production,” said Putin. “This is also a difficult test for the American economy.”

This week, Saudi Arabia produced more oil in a single day than at any time in its history, with 12 million barrels flowing from pumps at Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil company.


Prince Fahd bin Jalawi bin Abdul Aziz, president of the West Asian Triathlon Federation

Updated 05 December 2020

Prince Fahd bin Jalawi bin Abdul Aziz, president of the West Asian Triathlon Federation

Prince Fahd bin Jalawi bin Abdul Aziz was recently appointed president of the West Asian Triathlon Federation (WATF).

The federation’s general assembly on Friday recommended the prince, who is vice president of the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee (SAOC), president of the Saudi Triathlon Federation and chairman of the Saudi Camel Federation, to chair the organization.

Prince Fahd graduated from Riyadh Schools in 2003 and attended King Saud University to study for a bachelor’s degree in law. He obtained an MBA in international relations from the University of Wales in 2012 and, three years later, received an executive master’s degree in sports organization management from Universite Catholique de Louvain in Belgium.

Prince Fahd was the president’s adviser of international relations at the Saudi Sports Authority between 2015 and 2017. Between 2007 and 2014 he was a legal adviser and an international relations adviser at the Ministry of Sport, previously known as the General Presidency of Youth Welfare.

In November 2016 Prince Fahd became the president’s adviser of Olympic Committees and Federations at the Union of Arab National Olympic Committees, and a member of International Relations Commission at the union. He is also a member of the international relations committee at the Association of National Olympic Committees.

Following his WATF appointment Prince Fahd thanked the general assembly members for their confidence, saying that he would shoulder “this great responsibility” to better serve the triathlon in West Asia.