Pubblicato in: Materie Prime, Problemia Energetici

Arabia Saudita. Preannuncia un taglio globale di 19.5 milioni di barili al giorno.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-04-15.

Raffineria 010

«Saudi Arabia’s energy minister said on Monday that effective global oil supply cuts would amount to around 19.5 million barrels per day, taking into account the reduction pact agreed by OPEC+, pledges by other G20 nations and oil purchases into reserves»

«OPEC and allies led by Russia, a group known as OPEC+, agreed on Sunday to a record cut in output to prop up oil prices amid the coronavirus pandemic in an unprecedented deal with fellow oil nations, including the United States, that could curb global oil supply by 20%»

«Measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus have destroyed demand for fuel and driven down oil prices, straining budgets of oil producers and hammering the U.S. shale industry, which is more vulnerable to low prices due to its higher costs»

«Prince Abdulaziz also said the kingdom could cut oil output below its current quota of 8.5 million bpd if there was a need by the market over the coming months and if any reductions were done collectively with other producers on a pro-rata basis»

«The biggest oil cut ever is more than four times deeper than the previous record cut in 2008»

«Oil demand has dropped by around a third because of the coronavirus pandemic.»

* * * * * * *

La crisi economica determinata dall’epidemia da covirus ha depresso la domanda degli energetici ed al momento attuale sarebbe impossibile azzardare una data per una futura, eventuale, ripresa.

Di certo, il crollo dei prezzi petroliferi, il cospicuo ridimensionamento dei mercati finanziari, il blocco della produzione industriale, la contrazione dei trasporti e le conseguenze dell’epidemia hanno formato una miscela esplosiva quale difficilmente l’umanità ha esperito.

Né si potrebbe inferire alcunché di fino a quando questo accordo dell’Opec+ possa essere osservato nei fatti.

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Saudi energy minister says effective global oil cuts above 19 million bpd.

Saudi Arabia’s energy minister said on Monday that effective global oil supply cuts would amount to around 19.5 million barrels per day, taking into account the reduction pact agreed by OPEC+, pledges by other G20 nations and oil purchases into reserves.

OPEC and allies led by Russia, a group known as OPEC+, agreed on Sunday to a record cut in output to prop up oil prices amid the coronavirus pandemic in an unprecedented deal with fellow oil nations, including the United States, that could curb global oil supply by 20%.

Measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus have destroyed demand for fuel and driven down oil prices, straining budgets of oil producers and hammering the U.S. shale industry, which is more vulnerable to low prices due to its higher costs.

OPEC+ said it had agreed to reduce output by 9.7 million bpd for May and June, after four days of talks and following pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump to arrest the oil price decline.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman told reporters via a conference call that G20 nations outside the OPEC+ alliance had pledged to cut about 3.7 million bpd of oil supply, while oil purchases into reserves (SPRs) were seen at 200 million barrels over the next couple of months, according to the IEA.

Prince Abdulaziz also said the kingdom could cut oil output below its current quota of 8.5 million bpd if there was a need by the market over the coming months and if any reductions were done collectively with other producers on a pro-rata basis.

OPEC+ meets next in June via teleconference to decide on output policy.

“We have to watch what is happening with demand destruction or demand improvement, depending on how things may evolve,” Prince Abdulaziz said.

“This is a situation where every day the numbers change … you have to maintain being vigilant about how these things may progress,” he said, adding there was still “uncertainty related with the virus and its impact”.

The biggest oil cut ever is more than four times deeper than the previous record cut in 2008. Producers will slowly relax curbs after June, although reductions in production will stay in place until April 2022.

Oil demand has dropped by around a third because of the coronavirus pandemic. Oil prices jumped more than $1 a barrel in Monday trading after the agreement, but gains were capped amid concern that it would not be enough to head off oversupply with the virus hammering global demand. [O/R]

But the minister downplayed the drop in oil prices on Monday, saying that the cuts were the reason for the rally in oil prices before the meeting in anticipation of the cuts.

“It’s the typical deal you know: buy the rumour, and sell the news.”

Pubblicato in: Materie Prime, Problemia Energetici, Stati Uniti

Guerra petrolifera. Whiting Petroleum Corporation chiede il Chapter 11.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-04-05.

Raffineria 010

In questo momento Russia ed Arabia Saudita sono coalizzate per distruggere lo shale americano.

Se è vero che un accordo sembrerebbe essere stato raggiunto, sarebbe altrettanto vero ricordare quanti di simili accordi sono poi stati disattesi.

I costi di estrazione americani variano infatti dai 39 Usd ai 48 Usd a barile, molto superiori ai prezzi correnti del petrolio dopo che l’Arabia Saudita ha ridotto il costo ed aumentata la estrazione.


«U.S. shale producer Whiting Petroleum Corporation, once one of the top producers in the Bakken, said on Wednesday that it had filed for bankruptcy protection, becoming the first major victim of the oil price war and the coronavirus pandemic that sent oil prices to $20.»

«Whiting Petroleum Corporation, whose largest projects are in the Bakken and Three Forks plays in North Dakota and the Niobrara play in northeast Colorado, said in a statement that it had started voluntary Chapter 11 cases under the United States Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas»

«Given the severe downturn in oil and gas prices driven by uncertainty around the duration of the Saudi / Russia oil price war and the COVID-19 pandemic, the Company’s Board of Directors came to the conclusion that the principal terms of the financial restructuring negotiated with our creditors provides the best path forward for the Company»

«Whiting Petroleum has reached an agreement with certain noteholders to pursue financial restructuring to debt by more than US$2.2 billion via the exchange of all of the notes for 97 percent of the new equity of the reorganized company»

«Whiting Petroleum will continue to operate without material disruption to vendors or employees, and at this point, it expects to have enough liquidity to meet its financial obligations during the restructuring without resorting to additional financing»

«no one in the U.S. shale patch can profitably drill a new well at $20 WTI Crude»

«what we’ve seen so far may just be a taste of what’s to come»

* * * * * * *

È inutile nascondersi dietro ad un dito.

È in corso una guerra economica combattuta con ogni mezzo, conflitto che si preannuncia essere all’ultimo sangue.

La tempistica è stata ottimale: l’Arabia Saudita si è mossa quando gli Stati Uniti sono stati colpiti dal Covid-19 e dalla crisi del mercato finanziario borsistico, e quando la Russia ha aperto quasi completamente gli oleodotti ed i gasdotti che aveva in costruzione per trasferire le risorse energetiche siberiane alla Cina.

Difficile prognosticare chi ne possa uscire vincitore.

Un cinico potrebbe suggerire come l’Arabia Saudita abbia solo un esercito locoregionale.

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Russia’s Plan To Bankrupt U.S. Shale Could Send Oil To $60

«As soon as U.S. shale leaves the market, prices will rebound and could reach $60 a barrel, Rosneft’s Igor Sechin said recently. As fate would have it, in what many would have until recently considered an impossible scenario, a lot of U.S. shale might do just that. Breakeven prices for U.S. shale basins range between $39 and $48 a barrel, according to data compiled by Reuters. Meanwhile, West Texas Intermediate (WIT) is trading below $25 a barrel and has been for over a week now. 

The SCOOP/STACK play in Oklahoma has the highest average breakeven price at $48 a barrel. Surprisingly, the Permian is not the lowest-cost play but the second-lowest, at $40. The lowest-cost basin, on average, is the Delaware Basin, part of the Permian.

On the face of it, these averages give no cause for optimism to an industry hit hard and fast by a perfect storm of radically lower demand and a sharp increase in supply. However, it’s worth noting the figures above are averages. They cover a range of breakeven costs that last year, according to the Dallas Fed, featured breakeven prices of as little as $23 a barrel in the Permian. In all fairness, these figures were reported last year. Since then, the lowest may have gone up or, in some locations, down.»

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Canadian Drillers Face Nightmare Scenario As Oil Crashes To $5

«The U.S. shale patch laments oil prices in the low $20s crippling companies with already weakened debt and liquidity profiles. But further north, the outlook for Canada’s oil patch is even gloomier. Hit by the pandemic-driven demand shock and the price war-induced supply shock, Canadian oil prices have already crashed to below US$10 a barrel.

This year’s oil price crash will hit Canada’s oil patch harder than the 2014 price collapse, analysts say.  

Following the double supply-demand shock of the past weeks, the industry had to quickly switch back to survival mode, just as it was expecting an uptick in upstream investments this year, for the first time in five years.

Canada’s oil and gas sector now faces an existential threat – losing even the little competitiveness it held onto in the wake of the previous oil crash.»

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The U.S. Is About To Lose Its Place As The World’s Largest Oil Producer

«The United States may lose its top spot among oil producers globally this year, according to economists. With oil prices continuing their slide and Saudi Arabia reiterating its plans to flood the market with oil, U.S. producers are idling rigs and cutting spending plans.

Production has only one way to go: down. 

“I think it’s almost a guarantee that this year it will certainly lose that position,” Emirates NBD commodity analyst Edward Bell told CNBC, referring to the United States. “And it might happen probably a lot faster than we anticipate.”

IHS Markit’s Daniel Yergin also expects that U.S. oil production to swing from growth to decline this year on the significant slump in oil demand caused mostly by the coronavirus outbreak that has so far infected more than 700,000 people globally.»

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Shale Giant Files For Bankruptcy As Oil Price War Rages On

U.S. shale producer Whiting Petroleum Corporation, once one of the top producers in the Bakken, said on Wednesday that it had filed for bankruptcy protection, becoming the first major victim of the oil price war and the coronavirus pandemic that sent oil prices to $20.

Whiting Petroleum Corporation, whose largest projects are in the Bakken and Three Forks plays in North Dakota and the Niobrara play in northeast Colorado, said in a statement that it had started voluntary Chapter 11 cases under the United States Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas.  

“Given the severe downturn in oil and gas prices driven by uncertainty around the duration of the Saudi / Russia oil price war and the COVID-19 pandemic, the Company’s Board of Directors came to the conclusion that the principal terms of the financial restructuring negotiated with our creditors provides the best path forward for the Company,” said Bradley J. Holly, the company’s chairman, president and CEO.

Whiting Petroleum has reached an agreement with certain noteholders to pursue financial restructuring to debt by more than US$2.2 billion via the exchange of all of the notes for 97 percent of the new equity of the reorganized company.

Whiting Petroleum will continue to operate without material disruption to vendors or employees, and at this point, it expects to have enough liquidity to meet its financial obligations during the restructuring without resorting to additional financing, it said.

Whiting Petroleum became the first sizable U.S. shale producer to seek bankruptcy protection and restructuring after the oil price collapse forced many U.S. drillers, including the supermajors Exxon and Chevron, to announce significant reductions in projected spending and drilling operations, as no one in the U.S. shale patch can profitably drill a new well at $20 WTI Crude.  

Since the oil price crash last month, 22 U.S. independents have cut expenditure for 2020 by a total of US$20 billion, an average of 35 percent, and three have slashed capex by 50 percent or more, Simon Flowers, Chairman and Chief Analyst at Wood Mackenzie, said on Tuesday.

 “The size of cuts is close to those of 2015 and have come through faster. Yet companies today are far leaner than back then; and what we’ve seen so far may just be a taste of what’s to come. Diamondback and Occidental have already cut twice in two weeks, suggesting further, deeper cuts are coming for many US Independents,” Flowers noted.

Pubblicato in: Economia e Produzione Industriale, Materie Prime, Stati Uniti, Trump

Guerra del petrolio. Trump telefona a Mohammed bin Salman.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-04-03.

2020-04-03__Oil WTI 001

«Oil prices spiked on Thursday morning after U.S. President Donald Trump said that he spoke with the Saudi Crown Prince, and hoped and expected that Saudi Arabia and Russia would “cut back approximately 10 Million Barrels, and maybe substantially more,” sending oil prices soaring by 20 percent»

«Just spoke to my friend MBS (Crown Prince) of Saudi Arabia, who spoke with President Putin of Russia, & I expect & hope that they will be cutting back approximately 10 Million Barrels, and maybe substantially more which, if it happens, will be GREAT for the oil & gas industry!»

«Oil prices soared immediately after the tweet, with WTI Crude soaring 25.90 percent at $25.51 as of 11:04 a.m. EDT and Brent Crude surging 20.57 percent at $29.83»

* * * * * * *

2020-04-03__Oil WTI 002

Potenza di una telefonata.

2020-04-03__Oil WTI 003

Finché dura….

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Trump Tweet Sends Oil Soaring 25%

Oil prices spiked on Thursday morning after U.S. President Donald Trump said that he spoke with the Saudi Crown Prince, and hoped and expected that Saudi Arabia and Russia would “cut back approximately 10 Million Barrels, and maybe substantially more,” sending oil prices soaring by 20 percent. 

“Just spoke to my friend MBS (Crown Prince) of Saudi Arabia, who spoke with President Putin of Russia, & I expect & hope that they will be cutting back approximately 10 Million Barrels, and maybe substantially more which, if it happens, will be GREAT for the oil & gas industry!” President Trump tweeted on Thursday.

Oil prices soared immediately after the tweet, with WTI Crude soaring 25.90 percent at $25.51 as of 11:04 a.m. EDT and Brent Crude surging 20.57 percent at $29.83.

According to the Saudi’s official news agency, SPA, Saudi Arabia is calling for an urgent meeting for OPEC+ states “and another group of countries”.

Making no mention of specific numbers.

The press agency later went on to make mention of the relationship with the United States.

Earlier today, prices were already gaining more than 8 percent after the market began to tentatively hope that former allies Russia and Saudi Arabia could re-launch talks on propping up oil prices, which are too low for both of those economies, regardless of their claims of ‘resilience’ even at these prices.

After weeks of ‘no-backing-down’ in the oil price war, the former allies Saudi Arabia and Russia have started hinting at readiness to re-launch cooperation to save oil prices from sliding further amid the massive demand loss in the coronavirus pandemic.

“Saudi Arabia has always welcomed and supported cooperation among oil producers in their efforts to stabilize the oil market during the current crisis, based on the principles of fairness and equity,” a Gulf source familiar with Saudi Arabia’s thinking told Reuters on Thursday but said that the OPEC+ break-up was Russia’s fault.

Russia, for its part, has decided it’s economically unfeasible for its producers to boost oil production right now, so Moscow called off an earlier promise to also increase supply, albeit at a much lower rate than Saudi Arabia.

With U.S. shale producers suffering the first immediate blow from the Saudi-Russian oil price war, U.S. President Trump discussed the situation on the oil market with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin earlier this week and said he held a separate phone call with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Pubblicato in: Materie Prime, Medio Oriente

Aramco dimezza il prezzo del butano e del propano.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-04-03.

Saudi Aramco 001

«Il propano è un idrocarburo alifatico di formula CH3CH2CH3 appartenente alla serie degli alcani lineari saturi. A temperatura ambiente ed a pressione atmosferica standard (1 atm a 20-25 °C) il composto appare come un gas incolore ed inodore, che può essere tuttavia facilmente liquefatto per compressione. ….

 Il propano è presente in natura come componente del gas naturale e del petrolio grezzo, da cui viene estratto per distillazione frazionata, ed è inoltre il costituente principale del gas di petrolio liquefatto (GPL), miscela idrocarburica comunemente ottenuta dal petrolio largamente utilizzata come combustibile. ….

Il propano è un idrocarburo alifatico di formula CH3CH2CH3 appartenente alla serie degli alcani lineari saturi. A temperatura ambiente ed a pressione atmosferica standard (1 atm a 20-25 °C) il composto appare come un gas incolore ed inodore, che può essere tuttavia facilmente liquefatto per compressione. ….

 Il propano è presente in natura come componente del gas naturale e del petrolio grezzo, da cui viene estratto per distillazione frazionata, ed è inoltre il costituente principale del gas di petrolio liquefatto (GPL), miscela idrocarburica comunemente ottenuta dal petrolio largamente utilizzata come combustibile.

Il propano trova svariati impieghi in molteplici ambiti, sia puro che in miscela, tendenzialmente con altri idrocarburi. Viene principalmente utilizzato come combustibile, come mezzo refrigerante (identificato dal codice R290) e come carburante in miscela con altre sostanze, prime tra tutte il butano. Oltre al suo utilizzo come carburante e refrigerante, il composto trova impiego a livello industriale anche come solvente, come propellente e come intermedio di reazione nelle sintesi organiche» [Fonte]

*

«Con il termine butano ci si riferisce ad un qualunque alcano avente formula bruta C4H10 o per antonomasia all’isomero lineare, chiamato più propriamente n-butano o ad una qualunque miscela dei due isomeri strutturali (n-butano e isobutano) corrispondenti a tale formula.

Il butano si ottiene per distillazione frazionata dal petrolio e dal gas naturale. ….

A temperatura e pressione ambiente è un gas incolore ma meno inodore del propano, essendo tuttavia molto facile da liquefare (avendo una temperatura di liquefazione prossima a 0 °C) ….

Avendo un elevato potere calorifico, viene usato generalmente sotto forma di GPL (miscelato con propano e pentano) come carburante per automobili e come combustibile, sia per usi domestici che industriali, nonché per alimentare fornelli e lampade da campeggio.

Identificato dalla sigla R600, trova impiego anche come fluido refrigerante in sostituzione dei freon.» [Fonte]

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Il GPL, Gas di Petrolio Liquefatto, è una miscela di idrocarburi, principalmente propano e butano.

I principali vantaggi del GPL si individuano nella sua versatilità che ne consente l’utilizzo per riscaldare e raffrescare gli ambienti, cuocere cibi produrre energia e far funzionare apparecchiature industriali; nel suo alto potere calorifico che consente di avere grandi quantità di energia a fronte di limitate quantità di prodotto; nelle suo basso impatto ambientale, nella possibilità di essere stoccato in spazi ridotti e trasportato ovunque, anche dove non arriva la rete del metano.

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Saudi Aramco sets April propane price at $230 a tonne.

Saudi Arabia’s state oil giant Aramco has set its April propane price at $230 a tonne, down from $430 a tonne in March, the company said on Tuesday.

Aramco has set April butane at $240 a tonne, down from $480 a tonne in March.

The prices provides a benchmark against which Middle East sales of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to Asia are gauged.

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Saudi Aramco sets Mar propane CP at $430/mt, butane at $480/mt

Singapore — Saudi Aramco on Sunday set its March contract price for propane at $430/mt, down $75/mt from February, and the butane CP at $480/mt, $65/mt lower month on month.

The March propane and butane CPs were well within traders’ expectations.

Traders had expected the March propane CP to be set between $420/mt and $450/mt, and the butane CP to be between $460/mt and $500/mt.

The propane and butane CPs recorded the second month on month fall in March, after a fall in the February CP snapped four consecutive months of gains.

Aramco had set the propane CP for March 2019 at $490/mt and butane at $520/mt, S&P Global Platts data showed.

Aramco’s CPs , which set the price of propane and butane lifted from the Saudi ports of Yanbu, Ras Tanura and Ju’aymah under term supply contracts, are closely watched by the market as they tend to set a base level for pricing for most markets east of Suez.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Materie Prime, Medio Oriente

Greggio. Crude Oil 26.9, Brent 28.6, Natural Gas 1.839, Gasoline 0.75.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-03-17.

2020-03-17__Commodities 001

Il titolo del sito Oil Price è tutto un programma:

Is $10 Oil On The Horizon?

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«After having instructed Aramco to boost production to unseen levels, Saudi Arabia now plans to boost oil exports in May to a record 10 million barrels per day, causing oil prices to fall once again»

La guerra del petrolio continua imperterrita.

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Oil Plunges As Saudis Boost Exports To Record High

After having instructed Aramco to boost production to unseen levels, Saudi Arabia now plans to boost oil exports in May to a record 10 million barrels per day, causing oil prices to fall once again.

In order to achieve this level of exports, the Kingdom is trying to reduce its domestic consumption, which it expects to replace with natural gas from the Fadhili gas plant. 

Saudi Arabia’s Energy Ministry issued a statement on Tuesday claiming that “Saudi Arabia will utilize the gas produced from the Fadhili gas plant to compensate for around 250,000 barrels a day of domestic oil consumption, which will enable the Kingdom to increase its crude exports during the coming few months to exceed 10 million barrels a day,”.

Saudi Arabia may struggle to free up more crude oil for exports in the next couple of months as power consumption is set to increase during the hottest months of the year in the country (May to September). According to the EIA, in 2018, Saudi Arabia reported burning an average of 0.4 million barrels per day (b/d) of crude oil for power generation, the lowest amount since at least 2009.

In the meantime, natural gas consumption has been rising steadily since 2009, and is expected to rise this decade.

Riyadh has made a 180-degree turn in the last two weeks, after its proposal to deepen the OPEC+ output cut deal by 1.5 million bpd got rejected by Moscow, which despite the gloomy demand picture in oil markets saw no reason to make additional production cuts.

Saudi Arabia’s decision to flood an already woefully oversupplied market has effectively started an oil price war in which Riyadh is aiming to squeeze any competition out of core markets such as Europe and Asia. The Kingdom followed up on its threat to flood the markets with oil by chartering as many as 31 supertankers to ship the extra crude.

In the last couple of days, Aramco has offered their Arab Light and Arab Heavy blends for between $25 and $28 dollar per barrel in Europe, and today’s announcement to increase exports to 10 million bpd could send prices even lower.

This scorched earth tactic from Saudi Arabia is quite surprising, given the fact that the Kingdom has consistently overcomplied with its OPEC+ production quota, which saw its total crude exports fall below 7 million barrels per day in January/February.

As the pain for oil exporters continues to increase, it is unlikely that Saudi Arabia nor Russia will unilaterally take action to once again cut production, as neither of them will want to be seen to have lost the oil price war.

Bob McNally, former energy advisor for President George W. Bush and founder of Rapidan Group was quoted by CNBC as saying that “National prestige is involved here, honor is involved and political power is involved. And political leaders will suffer costs in a war if they believe they are pursuing a greater and more important aim,”.

With none of the parties planning to return to the negotiating table, what is next for oil?

Most likely, prices are set to fall further until most high-cost producers are squeezed out of the market, or at least until either Riyadh or Moscow can claim some sort of victory by inflicting sufficient damage to opponents.

In the short term, this will likely mean that both Saudi Arabia and Russia and even the UAE will continue to flood the market, or even talk them down in case they cannot free up more oil for exports and that oil prices will fall into the lower $20s, or below.

In its second price forecast in less than two weeks, investment bank Goldman Sachs slashed its price outlook for WTI to just $22 per barrel in Q2, while cutting its outlook for Brent oil to just $20 per barrel.

Goldman cited the combination of the Covid-19 oil demand shock and the price war as the reason for its lower forecast. The bank also believes that oil is likely to stay lower for longer as it will take a long time for inventories to come down again.

Pubblicato in: Medio Oriente, Senza categoria

Arabia Saudita. Una nazione difficile da comprendere. La miseria.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-01-01Mecca 001

Per quanti abbiano assorbito la mentalità occidentale, comprendere i problemi dell’Arabia Saudita è operazione ai limiti della fattibilità. Usualmente si cerca di inquadrare gli arabi usando le categorie mentali occidentali, che nei loro confronti non solo non hanno valore, ma sono anche fuorvianti.

* * * * * * *

Il primo problema è la comprensione del retaggio storico arabo. Nato come popolo organizzato agli inizi del seicento, ossia millequattrocento anni or sono, ha avuto il suo apice tra il settecento e l’ottocento: ma era uno splendore amministrativo e militare. Molti dei grandi autori dell’epoca usavano la lingua araba come noi adesso usiamo l’inglese, ma non erano arabi, così come noi non siamo inglesi. Buona quota di questi autori era cristiana oppure ebrea.

Un secondo problema è l’indirizzo culturale arabo. Hanno sviluppato una scuola giuridica di tutto rispetto e di grande interesse, che meriterebbe di essere meglio conosciuta in occidente. Non hanno invece sviluppato né tanto meno importato la logica, che alla fine divenne in occidente il substrato su cui edificare ciò che adesso intendiamo per ‘scienza’. È un procedimento mentale che richiede generazioni per essere metabolizzato ed interiorizzato. Un Newton non nasce come un fungo: è sicuramente una persona geniale, ma è pur sempre figlia del proprio tempo.

Un terzo problema inerisce la concezione della schiavitù, espressamente prevista dal Corano. Mentre il mondo latino vede la schiavitù come una condizione quasi esclusivamente economica, per cui lo schiavo può riscattarsi e, in quel momento, può diventare cittadino a tutto gli effetti, tranne alcune limitazioni iniziali, nel mondo greco lo schiavo, δούλος, era il prigioniero di guerra che, essendosi arreso, aveva abiurato la sua condizione umana, tramutandosi in una cosa. Anche se liberato, non godeva di diritti civili e doveva sempre appoggiarsi ad un tutore, spesso digerito peggio del padrone. Orbene, Maometto nel Corano ha recepito il concetto greco della schiavitù, cui è deputato il lavoro manuale.

Così, nei secoli, gli arabi sono diventati ottimi mercanti, del tutto refrattari al concetto occidentale di manifattore. Il lavoro manuale è roba servile.

Un quarto problema è la religione islamica ed ancor di più il come essa sia vissuta. In ogni caso, gli arabi hanno da millequattrocento anni i sunniti nel loro nordovest e li sciiti nel loro nordest, essendo loro wahhabiti. Sono quattordici secoli che appena possono si sgozzano vicendevolmente. È questa una situazione esacerbante, irredimibile. Hanno la mentalità degli assediati.

Un quinto problema resta davvero ostico alle menti occidentali. L’Arabia Saudita è un coacervo di tribù ove quella saudita ha al momento il sopravento, obbligata quindi a gestire la politica interna con pugno di acciaio. Se la Tribù Saud prospera felice e ricca, le altre languono nella miseria o, quanto meno, in uno stato di mera sopravvivenza: questo è l’unco mezzo per dominarle. Ma diventando lo stato sempre più complesso, i Saud non hanno figli a sufficienza per ricoprire tutte le alte cariche burocratiche e, soprattutto, i ranghi militari. Nessun saudita sano di mente metterebbe nelle mani delle tribù avverse un qualsiasi tipo di armamento.

* * * * * * *

Se si riuscisse a comprendere codeste problematiche, o almeno a capire che esse esistono per gli arabi sauditi, tutto diventa immediatamente lineare e semplice.

Lo studio che alleghiamo soffre del fatto che l’autrice è profondamente occidentalizzata, e quindi impossibilitata a cogliere l’essenza.

Ignora quasi totalmente il problema tribale e religioso, e si illude che gli arabi la pensino come gli occidentali.

Un esempio per tutti.

«There will have to be transparency and accountability for how the taxpayers’ money is spent, for taxation without representation is tyranny»

Chiunque abbia anche solo i primi rudimenti dell’arabo classico, quello medievale, sa che non esiste un vocabolo che identifichi il concetto di ‘tirannia‘, oppure quello di ‘libertà‘, oppure ancora quello di ‘democrazia‘.

Ma i vocaboli sono la espressione di un pensato: è impossibile dare un termine ad un pensiero inesistente. Un greco antico non avrebbe saputo cosa farsene di un termine quale ‘radio‘, oppure ‘buco nero‘.

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Nota Importante.

Dobbiamo al terzo califfo ʿUthmān b. ʿAffān l’aver disposto la prima versione scritta del Corano. Come di abitudine all’epoca, tranne la prima, tutte le sure furono ordinate in base al numero di caratteri contenuti in ciascuna.

A ciò consegue che la lettura dl Corano da inizio a fine è di impossibile comprensione. Non a caso, le versioni coraniche ad uso professionale riportano anche la numerazione storica. Se letto in questa maniera, dalla sura più antica a quella più recente, il testo diventa immediatamente comprensibile e ben chiaro.

Per dirla in modo elegante, se molti autori avessero seguito codesta semplice procedura non avrebbero scritto le bestialità che spesso si leggono nei loro trattati.

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Aljazeera. 2019-12-24. Vision 2030 and poverty in Saudi Arabia

MBS’s Vision 2030 will not alleviate poverty among Saudis and its austerity plan could lead to upheaval.

Growing up in Saudi Arabia in the 1990s, I was acutely aware that Saudi society was divided along class lines. There was the royal family and the super-rich, the middle class and the poor masses – all strictly segregated socially and culturally.

Like many other Saudi cities, Jeddah, where I lived and worked as a journalist between 2005 and 2010, was divided in two: the northern part of the city was reserved for royalty and upper middle-class families, while the southern part was where migrant workers, undocumented migrants and poor and middle-class Saudis lived.

Not being a member of the wealthy class, I too lived in the southern neighbourhoods.

Every morning, on my way to the office of the daily al-Madina newspaper, where I worked, I would pass by a street vendor, Om Mohammed, a widow and a mother of five. The death of her husband, the main breadwinner of the family, had forced her to start selling second-hand clothes on the street in order to make ends meet. Two of her sons had had to drop out of school because she could not afford to support their education. While public schools are free in the kingdom, the state does not cover additional costs for students, including school materials and food.

She herself had not received a proper education and was semi-illiterate, which made it difficult for her to go through the heavily bureaucratic process of applying for financial aid from the Ministry of Labour and Social Development. Another hurdle was that such payments could only be made into a bank account, which she could not open because she did not have the money for the minimum deposit required to open one. In Saudi Arabia some 7 million citizens do not have bank accounts, almost 60 percent of whom are women.

Om Mohammed lived in the Kilo 6 slum which had no proper sewage system or running water and flooded every time it rained. She, like her neighbours, was reduced to carrying water from the ablution fountains of the nearby mosques, to drink and wash with.

Om Mohammed is one of millions of Saudis stuck in a vicious circle of poverty on the peripheries of cities whom the world rarely sees or hears about.

Although the government rarely releases statistics, it is estimated that around 20 percent or more of the 34 million Saudi citizens live in poverty. Many of them are women or members of female-headed households.

For decades, successive Saudi governments have done little to alleviate the suffering of their country’s poor. They have been reluctant to openly talk about their existence because recognising poverty necessitates recognising income inequality and the unfair distribution of wealth in the oil-rich country. 

Under King Salman and the reform project of his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the situation is no different. Vision 2030 not only is unlikely to help uplift the poor, but the austerity measures it comes with are likely to push parts of the middle class into poverty.

Addressing poverty with charity

Throughout Saudi history, charity has been the central approach to addressing the issue of poverty. Being a Muslim country and the custodian of the two holy mosques, Saudi Arabia obliges every individual and corporation to donate 2.5 percent of their wealth to the government as part of the Islamic system of zakat. The government, in turn, is supposed to distribute it to poor families.

Needless to say, this approach was never successful in addressing the root causes of poverty in the kingdom.

In 2002, Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, who at that time was crown prince, paid a visit to the poor neighbourhood of al-Shemaysi in Riyadh. The move was unprecedented for a royal and marked the beginning of various initiatives by the state to address poverty.

After he became king in 2005, Abdullah created the National Poverty Reduction Strategy and the Supplementary Support Programmes which started to distribute monthly and one-time payments to poor families through the labour ministry. It was this programme that Om Mohammed was hoping to access but could not because of its bureaucratic hurdles.

Despite King Abdullah’s efforts, poverty persisted. In 2013, amid the Arab Spring, Saudi Arabia had its own public self-immolation incident. Mohammed al-Huraisi, a watermelon seller, set himself on fire after he was told he did not have permission to sell his produce at a street corner of a poor neighbourhood in Riyadh.

According to a 2017 UN report, the anti-poverty measures taken by the Saudi government over the past decade were “inefficient, unsustainable, poorly coordinated and, above all, unsuccessful in providing comprehensive social protection to those most in need”.

At the same time, the Saudi authorities continued to ignore the problem and keep public attention away from it. Saudi officials would avoid using the word “poor” in public statements and substitute it for vulnerable or needy persons or low-income families.

They would also clamp down on those publicly criticising the government for not taking adequate action. In 2011, bloggers Firas Buqna and Hussam al-Darwish were arrested for posting a video documenting the tough living conditions in al-Jaradiyaa, a poor neighbourhood of Riyadh.

In 2014, the government played down a report by Sami bin Abdul Aziz Al-Damigh, a professor at King Saud University in Riyadh, on the poverty problem in the kingdom. Al-Damigh proposed setting a poverty line for the country, which the government rejected.

Vision 2030

When King Salman came to power in 2015, the Saudi economy was going through the shock of a major oil price slump. In a matter of months, the oil price had gone done from $100 to $50 per barrel, cutting in half oil export profits, which accounted for about 87 percent of Saudi budget revenues.

The kingdom needed to take major austerity measures and the king decided to empower his son, Mohammed bin Salman (also known as MBS) to spearhead them. In 2016, the then deputy crown prince announced Vision 2030, a reform project based on a report produced by the controversial US-based consulting company McKinsey.

Vision 2030 is supposed to transform Saudi Arabia by weaning it off oil. It proposes ambitious steps to diversify its economy by growing the private sector and scaling down the public one. The main pillar of the project is the privatisation of Aramco, the Saudi state oil company, which has garnered much attention internationally.

But the less-publicised economic initiatives include privatising important public service institutions, like hospitals and schools, slashing public sector employment and increasing taxation. Currently two-thirds of employed Saudis work for the state; under Vision 2030, it is supposed to go down to 20 percent.

Soon after the project was announced, MBS started to implement some of its harshest provisions. In September 2016, the government announced pay cuts for public sector employees. In 2017, it released a timetable for decreasing subsidies for fuel, natural gas, electricity and water over the next few years. In 2018, the government introduced a value-added tax of 5 percent on most goods and services.

These economic decisions sent prices of basic commodities, including fuel, soaring, which not only hit hard the Saudi poor, but also affected middle classes, who have been dependent for generations on state largesse. All of a sudden, middle-income households found themselves unable to pay for housing and their basic necessities. This caused a wave of public anger and capital flight; many Saudis decided not only to transfer money out of the country but also to emigrate.

In 2016, the government estimated that as many as one million Saudis had left the country to seek livelihoods abroad in a short period of time. The crackdown on dissent that the government unleashed under the guidance of MBS further worsened the situation.

MBS’s anti-poverty measures

Despite purporting to transform Saudi Arabia, Vision 2030 does not mention in any significant way the issue of poverty in Saudi Arabia. Among its many different programmes, there are only two which seem to focus to some extent on socio-economic ills.

The National Transformation Program (NTP) has a number of declared goals, including “increase the percentage of residential areas, including peripheral areas, covered by health service from 78% to 88%” and “increase the percentage of population with access to water services from 87% to 92%”. The Housing Program aims to “increase the percentage of home ownership among Saudi citizens to 60%”.

But, needless to say, none of these measures can alleviate the structural causes of poverty in Saudi Arabia. And as Saudi economist Ihsan Bu Haliqa pointed out in 2016 after the unveiling of Vision 2030, “there is an urgent need to restructure the social safety net” in Saudi Arabia which should have happened before the reduction of public spending on subsidies.

Because it did not, there was no buffer to protect lower-income households when cuts in public spending were implemented that could muffle the reaction of the public. Growing dissatisfaction and the risk of social unrest forced MBS to roll back some of his plans, bring back bonus payments for public sector employees and introducing a new Citizen Account Program disbursing money to families in need.

These direct cash transfers may help some families cope with the sudden rise in prices of basic commodities and rent, but it will not help pull them out of poverty or provide them with financial security in the long-term.

Charity did not alleviate Saudi Arabia’s poverty problem in the past and it won’t now, either. These stop-gap measures do not address structural inequality. They may defuse tension in the short term but will not stave off the storm that is coming. The World Bank itself has warned that the country faces a “looming poverty problem“.

Examples in other countries abound of how neoliberal policies, privatisation of public services and austerity measures worsen structural poverty and lead to social upheaval. Even if Saudi Arabia manages to achieve economic growth under Vision 2030, this would not alleviate the socio-economic problems the majority of Saudis (the poor and the middle classes) face. We already know that the idea of wealth “trickling down” to the poorer layers of society without major wealth distribution policies does not work.

As lawyer Yahya al-Shahrani has pointed out, if the government really wanted to protect the poor, it would have taxed the rich instead of imposing a flat tax on everyone and cutting subsidies.

We have to remember that Vision 2030 is implemented in a society rife with patronage networks and by a state that does not have proper separation of powers. This means that wealth will not necessarily change hands with privatisation and the privileged few at the top of the Saudi society will continue to disproportionately benefit from the economic transformation.

And as Bu Haliqa has mentioned, in the absence of labour protections, pushing more Saudis to the private sector would expose them to even more exploitation and abuse. Private companies already pay on average 60 percent less than public ones for the same job.

What Vision 2030 envisions is dismantling the Saudi “rentier” state. While in theory, this may be a positive step, in practice, it undermines the basis of the unwritten social contract between the Saudi population and the house of Saud. Loyalty to the ruling family has been predicated on redistribution of the country’s oil wealth.

If this contract has to change and wealth has to be extracted from the population through taxation, then political and social reforms will also have to be undertaken. There will have to be transparency and accountability for how the taxpayers’ money is spent, for taxation without representation is tyranny.

That of course is not part of Vision 2030, which is why any criticism of its provisions has been met with repression. Saudi economist Essam al-Zamil and Al-Watan columnist Saleh al-Shehi, among many others, have already been imprisoned for their public criticism of the plan. In fact, anyone who has dared express anything but praise for the crown prince has been pressured, jailed or exiled.

For now, repression and monetary handouts might work to suppress public anger but they will not do away with it.

And there are already cracks showing. The Saudi middle class, which has long been a supporter of the political status quo, is increasingly dissatisfied. The austerity measures could impact significantly its political orientations, and lead to political and economic unrest. One form this dissatisfaction is taking is the increasing number of Saudis fleeing the country and some of them are already starting to organise politically in exile.

If Vision 2030 is not revised to address major socio-economic ills and poverty, inequality and injustice will continue to grow and Saudi Arabia will likely face major political instability in the future.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Economia e Produzione Industriale, Medio Oriente, Problemia Energetici

Petrolio. Potrebbe salire a prezzi inimmaginabili. – Mohammed bin Salman.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2019-10-01.

2016-04-04__Attenti a Moḥammad bin Salmān.__002

Sulla scacchiera sono schierate da una parte l’Arabia Saudita e dall’altra l’Iran. I primi sono wahabiti ed i secondi sono sciiti: si odiano vicendevolmente da millequattrocento anni.

Ambedue sono ricchi in petrolio, ma l’Iran è vicino a disporre di armamenti atomici, sempre che già non li abbia.

Ma questo sarebbe nulla, se con fosse che dietro l’Arabia Saudita di sono gli americani e dietro l’Iran ci sono i russi e, ben defilati ma presenti, i cinesi.

Lo scontro è quindi tra le superpotenze: Arabia Saudita ed Iran sono solo le comparse sul palcoscenico.

«Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has called for global action against Iran, warning of “unimaginably high” oil prices otherwise»

«Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman called for global action against Iran and warned that oil prices could otherwise rise astronomically»

«If the world does not take a strong and firm action to deter Iran, we will see further escalations that will threaten world interests»

«Oil supplies will be disrupted and oil prices will jump to unimaginably high numbers that we haven’t seen in our lifetimes»

«The crown prince said he would prefer a political rather than a military response to Iran, as a war between Saudi Arabia and Iran would collapse the global economy»

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Herr Otto von Bismarck diceva che non si dovrebbe mai portare l’avversario alla disperazione. Ma cerchiamo di metterci nei panni dei sauditi che si son visti bombardare i propri impianti petroliferi.

Il mondo avrebbe una enorme necessità di quiete politica ed economica, ma un nuova crisi petrolifera di ampia portata potrebbe innescare una serie di reazioni a catena del tutto incontrollate ed incontrollabili.

Resta solo una ultima domanda senza risposta.

Quale è la posizione dell’Unione Europea?

Ha cercato di mantenere i piedi in dodici scarpe, ma né Mr Juncker, né Mr Tusk, né Frau Merkel, né tanto meno Mr Macron, hanno la stoffa di Talleyrand-Périgord.

L’unica cosa certa è che una crisi petrolifera travolgerebbe un’Unione Europea in piena rcessione.

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Saudi prince warns of ‘unimaginable’ oil prices

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has called for global action against Iran, warning of “unimaginably high” oil prices otherwise. He also described the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi as “a mistake.”

In a television interview, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman called for global action against Iran and warned that oil prices could otherwise rise astronomically.

Bin Salman blamed Iran for the September 14 attack on Saudi oil facilities that cut its production by half and led to a spike in oil prices.

“If the world does not take a strong and firm action to deter Iran, we will see further escalations that will threaten world interests,” he told CBS program 60 Minutes.

“Oil supplies will be disrupted and oil prices will jump to unimaginably high numbers that we haven’t seen in our lifetimes,” he said in the program aired late on Sunday.

The US, France, Germany and Britain have backed Saudi assertions that Iran was behind the attack, as opposed to the Houthi rebel group that has claimed responsibility.

The crown prince said he would prefer a political rather than a military response to Iran, as a war between Saudi Arabia and Iran would collapse the global economy.

In the same interview, bin Salman — also known by his initials MBS — also denied ordering the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Turkey, but said that as leader of the country he bore responsibility.

“This was a heinous crime,” he told the program. “But I take full responsibility as a leader in Saudi Arabia, especially since it was committed by individuals working for the Saudi government.” Prince Mohammed said he was “absolutely not” behind the killing, calling it “a mistake.”

Khashoggi’s murder in October 2018 triggered an international backlash against Saudi Arabia, with the US Congress blaming the crown prince for the killing, and the United Nations calling for an investigation into his role in the slaying.

Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Guerra Civile, Medio Oriente, Senza categoria

Droni yemeniti distruggono due impianti petroliferi sauditi. Produzione dimezzata.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2019-09-14.

2019-09-14__Arabia Saudita 001

Saudi oil plant fire: Blaze rages in Abqaiq after drone attack

«Drone attacks have set alight two major oil facilities run by state-owned Aramco in Saudi Arabia, state media say.

One was at Abqaiq, which has the world’s largest oil processing plant.»

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«At 04:00 (01:00 GMT), the industrial security teams of Aramco started dealing with fires at two of its facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais as a result of… drones,” the official Saudi Press Agency reported»

«Abqaiq is about 60km (37 miles) south-west of Dhahran in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, while Khurais, some 200km further south-west, has the country’s second largest oilfield»

«Saturday’s attack was one of the biggest operations the Houthi forces had undertaken inside Saudi Arabia and was carried out in “co-operation with the honourable people inside the kingdom”»

«Saudi Arabia’s oil production has been severely disrupted by drone attacks on two major oil facilities run by state-owned company Aramco»

«TV footage showed a huge blaze at Abqaiq, site of Aramco’s largest oil processing plant, while a second drone attack started fires in the Khurais oilfield»

«The Saudis lead a military coalition backing Yemen’s government, while Iran backs the Houthi rebels»

«The Houthi spokesman, Yahya Sarea, told al-Masirah TV, which is owned by the Houthi movement and is based in Beirut, that further attacks could be expected in the future»

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Quanto successo meriterebbe molti commenti.

– Lo Yemen è da decenni in regime di guerra civile, fattasi decisamente virulenta nell’ultimo lustro.

– I sauditi appoggiano le forze regolari, mentre gli iraniani quelle ribelli. Oltre le diatribe politiche e militari, si dovrebbero anche considerare quelle religiose: i sauditi sono wahhabiti e gli iraniani sciiti. Si odiano mortalmente da millequattrocento anni.

– Tutte le grandi potenze sono coinvolte nella guerra nello Yemen: talune in modo discreto, altre in modo plateale. In fondo, sono loro a pilotare i giochi e, a quanto sembrerebbe, proprio a nessuno farebbe piacere avere una pace in quel settore geopolitico.

– L’Arabia Saudita ha un fenomenale budget militare ed un esercito che, almeno sulla carta, dovrebbe essere di tutto rispetto. Ma che poi i Saud possano fidarsi dell’esercito sarebbe cosa davvero molto discutibile, ma la Tribù Saud non ha figliato a sufficienza per avere persone fidate nei ranghi militari, e le guerre le fanno gli uomini. Pochi uomini, nessuna guerra degna di quel nome.

– I ribelli yemeniti versano in condizioni misere, essendo gli alimentari e gli armamenti le loro spese principali.

– Si resta sorpresi, ma non troppo, che abbiano potuto disporre di una decina di droni di attacco, sempre poi che a pilotarli da postazioni remate siano stati i ribelli e non truppe straniere particolarmente addestrate. Ma su questo argomento non è stato possibile rintracciare informazioni credibili e corroborabili.

– I droni sono penetrati in grande profondità nel territorio saudita e questi, che sono intrinsecamente lenti, sono sfuggiti al rilevamento radar saudita, anche a quello particolarmente potente e moderno dell’aeroporto di Riyadh.

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Come si constata, vi sono molti fatti che al momento sembrerebbero essere inspiegabili.

Una ultima considerazione.

Le guerre o si fanno oppure non si fanno, ma, nel caso, occorrerebbe dispiegare immediatamente la massima potenza.

L’unica vera opzione che avrebbe l’Arabia Saudita sarebbe l’invasione dello Yemen e lo sterminio fisico di tutti i ribelli, sia quelli veri sia anche quelli presunti.

Ma forse il colpo ora subito non è ancora quello sufficiente per far prendere decisioni drastiche.


Bbc. 2019-09-14. Saudi Arabia oil production reduced by drone strikes

Saudi Arabia’s oil production has been severely disrupted by drone attacks on two major oil facilities run by state-owned company Aramco, reports say.

Sources quoted by Reuters and WSJ said the strikes had reduced production by five million barrels a day – nearly half the kingdom’s output.

The fires are now under control at both facilities, Saudi state media say.

A spokesman for the Houthi rebel group in Yemen said it had deployed 10 drones in the attacks.

The Saudis lead a military coalition backing Yemen’s government, while Iran backs the Houthi rebels.

The Houthi spokesman, Yahya Sarea, told al-Masirah TV, which is owned by the Houthi movement and is based in Beirut, that further attacks could be expected in the future.

He said Saturday’s attack was one of the biggest operations the Houthi forces had undertaken inside Saudi Arabia and was carried out in “co-operation with the honourable people inside the kingdom”.

TV footage showed a huge blaze at Abqaiq, site of Aramco’s largest oil processing plant, while a second drone attack started fires in the Khurais oilfield.

United Nations envoy Martin Griffiths described the attacks as “extremely worrying” in a statement in which he called on all parties in the Yemen conflict to exercise restraint.

Saudi officials have yet to comment on who they think is behind the attacks.

“At 04:00 (01:00 GMT), the industrial security teams of Aramco started dealing with fires at two of its facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais as a result of… drones,” the official Saudi Press Agency reported.

“The two fires have been controlled.”

There have been no details on the damage but AFP news agency quoted interior ministry spokesman Mansour al-Turki as saying there were no casualties.

Abqaiq is about 60km (37 miles) south-west of Dhahran in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, while Khurais, some 200km further south-west, has the country’s second largest oilfield.

Saudi security forces foiled an attempt by al-Qaeda to attack the Abqaiq facility with suicide bombers in 2006.

Who are the Houthis?

The Iran-aligned Houthi rebel movement has been fighting the Yemeni government and a Saudi-led coalition.

Yemen has been at war since 2015, when President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi was forced to flee the capital Sanaa by the Houthis. Saudi Arabia backs President Hadi, and has led a coalition of regional countries against the rebels.

The coalition launches air strikes almost every day, while the Houthis often fire missiles into Saudi Arabia.

Mr Sarea, the Houthi group’s military spokesman, told al-Masirah that operations against Saudi targets would “only grow wider and will be more painful than before, so long as their aggression and blockade continues”.

Houthi fighters were blamed for drone attacks on the Shaybah natural gas liquefaction facility last month, and on other oil facilities in May.

There have been other sources of tension in the region, often stemming from the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Saudi Arabia and the US both blamed Iran for attacks in the Gulf on two oil tankers in June and July, allegations Tehran denied.

In May four tankers, two of them Saudi-flagged, were damaged by explosions within the UAE’s territorial waters in the Gulf of Oman.

Tension in the vital shipping lanes worsened when Iran shot down a US surveillance drone over the Strait of Hormuz in June, leading a month later to the Pentagon announcing the deployment of US troops to Saudi Arabia.

——-

An attack method open to all

This latest attack underlines the strategic threat posed by the Houthis to Saudi Arabia’s oil installations.

The growing sophistication of the Houthis’ drone operations is bound to renew the debate as to where this capability comes from. Have the Houthis simply weaponised commercial civilian drones or have they had significant assistance from Iran?

The Trump administration is likely to point the finger squarely at Tehran, but experts vary in the extent to which they think Iran is facilitating the drone campaign.

The Saudi air force has been pummelling targets in Yemen for years. Now the Houthis have a capable, if much more limited, ability to strike back. It shows that the era of armed drone operations being restricted to a handful of major nations is now over.

Drone technology, albeit of varying degrees of sophistication, is available to all – from the US to China, Israel and Iran – and from the Houthis to Hezbollah.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Medio Oriente, Senza categoria

Arabia Saudita. Rimpasto governativo. Mohammed bin Salman Ministro della Guardia Nazionale.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-12-30.

2018-12-27__Arabia_Saudita__001

«Abdullah bin Bandar bin Abdul Aziz was named Minister of National Guard»

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«King Salman, in a series of royal decrees read on national television, appointed Prince Abdullah bin Bandar bin Abdul Aziz as minister for the powerful National Guard»

*

«The appointments are a sign that the crown prince is consolidating his power “as he appoints key allies,”»

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«President Vladimir Putin’s chief Middle East envoy on Tuesday warning the U.S. against trying to influence the royal succession»

*

«Ibrahim Al-Assaf was named Minister of Foreign Affairs, a position formally held by Adel Al-Jubeir»

* * * * * * * *

Jamal Khashoggi docet. Di certi cose non si deve né si può parlare.

Khashoggi. Il caso diventa affare diplomatico.

*

Il caso Khashoggi potrebbe essere letto da molte differenti angolazioni.

«The killing of Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul has made the kingdom a focus of international outrage. Leading U.S. lawmakers, including Senator Lindsey Graham, have blamed Prince Mohammed for the murder»

*

Bene. Benissimo.

Questa è la risposta ad una domanda che molti si ponevano.

Quanto vale l’opinione del Senator Lindsey Graham?

Il Principe Abdullah bin Bandar bin Abdul Aziz ha fatto un gran bello scatto di carriera verso il potere supremo.

Sicuramente Mr Putin si sarà ben guardato dall’interferire con scelte sovrane: la Russia non interferisce mai con gli affari interni delle altre nazioni.


Bloomberg. 2018-12-27. Saudi King Elevates Young Royals in Government Shake-Up

Saudi Arabia promoted a number of young royals to cabinet positions as part of a government shake-up that left key supporters of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in place, amid an international outcry over the murder of Saudi columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

King Salman, in a series of royal decrees read on national television, appointed Prince Abdullah bin Bandar bin AbdulAziz as minister for the powerful National Guard and named other princes as provincial rulers. The ministers of finance, energy and economy — senior members of the crown prince’s team — retained their positions.

Ibrahim Al-Assaf, a former finance minister, was put in charge of overhauling the foreign service’s bureaucracy and named as foreign minister, replacing Adel al-Jubeir. But al-Jubeir, whose title was changed to minister of state for foreign affairs, will in practice remain the kingdom’s top diplomat, a senior official said.

The appointments are a sign that the crown prince is consolidating his power “as he appoints key allies,” according to Ali Shihabi, head of the Arabia Foundation, a pro-Saudi think tank in Washington.

The killing of Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul has made the kingdom a focus of international outrage. Leading U.S. lawmakers, including Senator Lindsey Graham, have blamed Prince Mohammed for the murder, a conclusion they said was backed by the Central Intelligence Agency.

The Saudi government has repeatedly denied the charges, and U.S. President Donald Trump has evinced his continued support for Prince Mohammed. Russia has also asserted its support for the crown prince, with President Vladimir Putin’s chief Middle East envoy on Tuesday warning the U.S. against trying to influence the royal succession.

Arab News. 2018-12-27. Saudi Arabia’s King Salman appoints new foreign minister in sweeping Cabinet reshuffle

– Ibrahim Al-Assaf was named Minister of Foreign Affairs, a position formally held by Adel Al-Jubeir

– Abdullah bin Bandar bin Abdul Aziz was named Minister of National Guard

*

RIYADH: King Salman appointed a new foreign minister on Thursday in a wide-ranging reshuffle of Saudi Arabia’s Cabinet. 

Ibrahim Al-Assaf was named Minister of Foreign Affairs, a position formally held by Adel Al-Jubeir, who was appointed as Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.

Assaf previously served as finance minister for two decades until 2016. In July 2017, he led the Saudi delegation to the G20 meeting in Hamburg. Assaf was detained briefly in 2017 as part of an anti corruption crackdown but was cleared of any wrongdoing.

The royal decree, announced live on television by the king, revealed a string of new appointments.

Abdullah bin Bandar bin Abdul Aziz was named Minister of National Guard, and Mohammed bin Saleh Al-Ghofeily was relieved as National Guard advisor.

Khaled Al-Harbi was appointed head of the Public Security Directorate in place of Saud bin Abdul Aziz Hilal.

Musaed Al Aiban was appointed as Saudi Arabia’s National Security adviser.

Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal was appointed as chairman of the General Sports Authority in place of Turki Al Asheikh, who was appointed as the chairman of the General Entertainment Authority. 

Prince Sultan bin Salman was relieved as president of Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), and was replaced by Ahmad Al-Khateeb.

A new entity called the General Commission for Exhibitions and Conferences is to be set up, and its CEO will be appointed by royal decree.

The Minister of Commerce and Investment Dr. Majed Al-Qassabi will also be responsible for the General Commission for Exhibitions and Conferences

Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz, the Kingdom’s ambassador in London, was relieved of his post.

Turki Al-Shabana was appointed as Minister of Media, and Hamad Al-Sheikh was appointed as Minister of Education.

Ahmed bin Mohammad Al-Issa, who was relieved as Minister of Education, was appointed as a Royal Court advisor and head of the Saudi Public Education Evaluation Commission.

Awad bin Saleh Al Awad, who was relieved as Minister of Media, has been appointed as a Royal Court advisor. 

Iman Al-Mutairi was appointed as assistant to the Minister of Commerce. 

Turki bin Talal replaced Faisal bin Khaled as the governor of the Asir region. 

Prince Badr bin Sultan was relieved of his post and replaced by Prince Faisal bin Nawaf as the governor of Al-Jouf region.

Mansour bin Mohammad bin Saad Al Saud was appointed as Hafr Al-Batin’s governor.  

Badr bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud was appointed as Deputy Governor of the Makkah Region. 

Prince Turki bin Saud bin Mohammed was appointed as a Royal Court Advisor.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Problemia Energetici, Russia, Senza categoria, Stati Uniti, Trump, Unione Europea

Arabia Saudita. Estrazione record a11.2 milioni barili giorno.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-11-27.

Petrolio. Costo per produttore. 001

«Saudi daily production increased to 11.2 million barrels»

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«”Let’s go lower,” Trump tweeted to the Saudis last week»

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«Saudi Arabia is pumping more crude than at any time since its first barrel was extracted 80 years ago, responding to pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump to keep driving oil prices lower»

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«Brent crude, the global benchmark, already tumbled as much as 33 percent since early October, Trump a week ago tweeted: “Thank you to Saudi Arabia, but let’s go lower!”»

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«Prices have slumped as the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Russia increase supply close to a record, at a time when traders are fretting about slowing growth in demand in emerging markets, particularly in Asia.»

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«Trump has repeatedly used Twitter to ask Saudi Arabia and other OPEC members to boost production»

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«More recently Trump has compared lower oil prices to a tax cut and a tool to keep inflation low, giving the U.S. Federal Reserve the opportunity to stop raising interest rates»

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«U.S., Saudi Arabia and Russia increase supply close to a record»

Difficile dire che non sia intervenuto un accordo tra questi tre grandi produttori.

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Ma ci sono anche altri elementi al contorno. Uno spicca per la sua attualità.

Khashoggi. Il caso diventa affare diplomatico.

Arabia, Egitto, Germania e Meko 200. Il problema è Frau Merkel.

Siria e Medio Oriente. Una guerra che fa comodo a tutti.

Merkel. L’Arabia Saudita rispetta i ‘diritti umani’ e quindi compra armamenti.

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Trump: Saudi Arabia’s handling of Khashoggi the ‘worst cover-up ever’ [Bbc]

«US President Donald Trump has said that Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan was “pretty rough” on Saudi Arabia in his speech about the death of Jamal Khashoggi.

Speaking to reporters in the White House, Mr Trump also said that Saudi Arabia’s handling of the matter was “the worst cover-up ever”.

Mr Trump, who has sent his CIA director to Turkey to look at the issue, said that he expected to have a report soon»

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President Trump given ‘flat denial’ by Saudi King over disappearance of journalist

«The US president says Saudi Arabia’s King Salman denied all knowledge of the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was last seen in Istanbul on 2 October.

The authorities in Istanbul believe he was murdered there by Saudi agents – claims Riyadh has dismissed as “lies”.»

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Khashoggi killing: CIA did not blame Saudi crown prince, says Trump

«US President Donald Trump has said the CIA did not conclude that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.»

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Trump defends Saudi Arabia ties despite Khashoggi murder

«US President Donald Trump has strongly defended ties with Saudi Arabia despite international condemnation of journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder.

The kingdom is a “steadfast partner” that has agreed to invest “a record amount of money” in the US, Mr Trump said in a statement.

The president acknowledged Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman “could very well” have known about Khashoggi’s murder.

“In any case, our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” he added.»

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Ma non tutti la ragionano come ragiona il Presidente Trump.

No arms for Riyadh while Khashoggi questions remain: Germany’s Merkel

«Germany will not export arms to Saudi Arabia while the current uncertainty over the fate of journalist Jamal Khashoggi persists, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Sunday.»

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Merkel: No German arms exports to Saudi until killing cleared up

«German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday called the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul a “monstrosity” and vowed to halt all German arms exports to Riyadh until the case is cleared up. »

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La differenza è semplice. Mr Trump sta governando il mondo, mentre Frau Merkel sta apprestandosi a far fagotto e tornare a casa a fare la calza.


Bloomberg. 2018-11-26. Saudi Daily Oil Output Surpasses Record 11 Million Barrels

– Saudi daily production increased to 11.2 million barrels

– “Let’s go lower,” Trump tweeted to the Saudis last week

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Saudi Arabia is pumping more crude than at any time since its first barrel was extracted 80 years ago, responding to pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump to keep driving oil prices lower.

Saudi daily output reached 11.2 million barrels a day, from 10.8-10.9 million barrels earlier this month, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the data is private. While Brent crude, the global benchmark, already tumbled as much as 33 percent since early October, Trump a week ago tweeted: “Thank you to Saudi Arabia, but let’s go lower!”

The surge in Saudi supply comes two weeks before the kingdom and its allies in the OPEC+ group meet in Vienna to set policy for 2019. Negotiations have already started and will likely intensify later this week at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, where the leaders of Saudi Arabia and Russia and their oil ministers are scheduled to meet. The two nations are the world’s biggest crude exporters.

“In the past, G20 summits have provided the opportunity to negotiate informally the broad contours of the production agreements that OPEC+ members have later ratified,” Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at Energy Aspects Ltd. in London, said in a note to clients.

Drill Baby Drill

Saudi oil production hits an all-time high above 11 million barrels a day

Brent fell last week to a one-year low of $58.41 a barrel, down from a four-year high of $86.74 in early October. Prices have slumped as the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Russia increase supply close to a record, at a time when traders are fretting about slowing growth in demand in emerging markets, particularly in Asia.

Trump has repeatedly used Twitter to ask Saudi Arabia and other OPEC members to boost production. In January, Saudi production was below 10 million barrels. More recently Trump has compared lower oil prices to a tax cut and a tool to keep inflation low, giving the U.S. Federal Reserve the opportunity to stop raising interest rates.

Saudi output has also been rising as the kingdom seeks to ensure enough supply as Iranian exports slump following the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions. Buyers of Saudi crude ordered more barrels in early October to guard against a sudden plunge, although in the end the U.S. administration granted more waivers than anyone was expecting.

It’s unclear whether Riyadh plans to keep boosting output and a Saudi oil official declined to comment. The surge this month also means that the kingdom is effectively setting a high baseline for any future cut in output. Saudi Arabia has already said it supports a drop in output and has pledged to reduce oil exports by 500,000 barrels a day in December, compared with November.

Key decision makers will be at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires later this week, in a meeting that may well decide the direction of oil prices in 2019. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Russian President Vladimir Putin, who have been working together to manage the oil market for the past two years, both plan to be in the Argentinian capital.

“Both have a common interest in seeing a production cut to mitigate the potential future surplus created by the mismatch between the rise in OPEC+ output and the volume of waivers issued for Iranian oil,” Jeffrey Currie, the head of commodities research at Goldman Sachs Inc., told clients in a note.

Resisting Trump’s desire for lower oil prices would require the Saudi crown prince to go against the White House, just after the president publicly backed him following the killing of Saudi national and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

Khalid Al-Falih and Alexander Novak, the Saudi and Russian energy ministers, are also scheduled to travel to Buenos Aires, according to people familiar with their plans. Their presence reinforces the impression that Saudi Arabia and Russia will try to reach a deal before the OPEC meeting a few days later.

“We believe OPEC+ countries will come to an agreement despite recent tweets from the U.S. arguing for lower oil prices,” Currie wrote.