KUWAIT & SAUDI AGREE
Kuwait and Saudi Arabia agreed to resume production at offshore Khafji oil field although no restart date was immediately available, Kuwait News Agency (Kuna) reported, saying Anas al-Saleh, Kuwait's acting oil minister, told Kuwait's Parliament that maintenance was planned first at the field.
Production at Khafji was halted in October 2014 because of environmental concerns. The 300,000-b/d field lies in the Saudi-Kuwaiti neutral zone. Kuwait Gulf Oil Co. and Saudi Aramco Gulf Operations Co. jointly operate it. Neither company commented on restart reports.
The restart initially will involve "small quantities, which would be increased taking into consideration environmental concerns," before returning to normal levels, Kuna said.
Separately, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are expected to attend an Apr. 17 meeting in Qatar of major oil producers, members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, as well as non-OPEC members, to discuss a proposed production freeze at January levels.
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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.