Saudi Arabia faces a difficult balancing act as it tries to work down excess global crude stocks while protecting relationships with important refining customers in the United States and Asia.
The scaled-up IDA financing will build on a portfolio of 448 ongoing projects in Africa totaling about $50 billion. Of this, a $1.6 billion financing package is being developed to tackle the impending threat of famine in parts of Sub-Saharan Africa and other regions.
U.S. shale producers are drilling at the highest rate in 18 months but have left a record number of wells unfinished in the largest oilfield in the country – a sign that output may not rise as swiftly as drilling activity would indicate.
Benchmark Brent crude was down 82 cents at $50.14 per barrel at 0936 GMT (5:36 a.m. ET), after dropping to $50.05, its lowest level since OPEC announced on Nov. 30 its plan for cuts. The deal with non-OPEC states was reached in December. U.S. light crude was down 70 cents at $47.54 a barrel, also slipping toward a three-month low.
The NYMEX April natural gas contract continued to march higher Tuesday, climbing 5.2 cents to settle at $3.093/MMBtu on a tightening supply-demand balance characterized by strong LNG feedgas deliveries, March demand above year-ago levels and a 2.8 Bcf/d year-on-year dip in production.
The crude oil contract for April delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange dropped 56¢ on Mar. 20 to $48.22/bbl. The May contract fell by 40¢ to $48.91/bbl. The Brent crude contract for May on London’s ICE decreased 14¢ to $51.62/bbl. The June contract dropped 16¢ to $51.79/bbl. The gas oil contract settled at 458.50/tonne on Mar. 20, up $1.75. The average price for OPEC’s basket of benchmark crudes on Mar. 20 was $49.18/bbl, down 18¢.
Iran announced it has started gas recovery from phase 20 development of the supergiant South Pars gas field (SP20) on Sunday.
Saudi Arabia leads countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in future energy investment.
Saudi Aramco is set to launch its first public bond sale, of around $2bn, as soon as this month, as it begins to tap local currency debt markets as part of a $10bn fundraising programme.
I strongly welcome the proposed compacts between African and G20 countries to build capacity and unlock investment flows. All five countries in the first wave have Fund-supported arrangements. We will work closely with the authorities to strengthen their macroeconomic frameworks and will step up the provision of technical assistance.