HUNGARY BUILDS SOUTH STREAM
Hungary says it will go ahead and build its part of Gazprom's South Stream gas pipeline that bypasses Ukraine to supply Europe, despite U.S. and EU objections to the project.
Prime Minister Viktor Orban said Tuesday in Serbia that "those who say we shouldn't build South Stream should make an alternative proposal about how we could live without energy."
Orban added that "we are going to build the South Stream."
His comments underscore divisions within the EU over the trans-European pipeline. The standoff over Ukraine has renewed calls for the 28-nation bloc to rethink its energy policies to make it less reliant on Russia.
Bulgaria last month had to freeze its South Stream construction work under orders from EU Commission, which said the country breached EU competition rules.
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AN - China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) is willing to invest $3 billion in its existing oil and gas operation in Nigeria, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said on Sunday following a meeting with the Chinese in Abuja.
REUTERS - Production at Libya’s giant Sharara oil field was expected to fall by at least 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) on Saturday after two staff were abducted in an attack by an unknown group, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) said.
IMF - Output grew by 3.8 percent in 2017, underpinned by a resilient non-hydrocarbon sector, with robust implementation of GCC-funded projects as well as strong activity in the financial, hospitality, and education sectors. The banking system remains stable with large capital buffers. Growth is projected to decelerate over the medium term.
IMF - Higher oil prices and short-term portfolio inflows have provided relief from external and fiscal pressures but the recovery remains challenging. Inflation declined to its lowest level in more than two years. Real GDP expanded by 2 percent in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the first quarter of last year. However, activity in the non-oil non-agricultural sector remains weak as lower purchasing power weighs on consumer demand and as credit risk continues to limit bank lending.