Arab oil provides nearly 98% of Japan's July crude imports – Arab News
TOKYO: The countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council provided Japan with nearly 98 percent of its crude oil imports in July, according to data from the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy of the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry.
This makes Arab oil more crucial than ever in meeting Japanese energy needs. Japan didn’t import any oil from Russia in July in accordance with measures imposed as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Out of the 81.05 million barrels imported by Japan, GCC members UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman provided 79.17 million barrels or 97.7 percent, according to METI. 
UAE crude made up the largest percentage of imports into Japan with 33.99 million barrels (41.9 percent). Saudi oil came second with 28.47 million barrels (35.1 percent). Qatar provided 7.34 million barrels (9.1 percent), while crude from Kuwait amounted to 6.59 million barrels (8.1 percent).  Exports from Bahrain came to 1.32 million barrels (1.6 percent) and Oman provided 998,782 barrels (1.2 percent) of Japan’s total imports in July, METI data showed.
Japan also imported 440,000 barrels, (0.5 percent) of the total, from the Khafji oil field of the Neutral Zone that belongs to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
The remainder, according to METI, comprising 2.3 percent of total Japanese crude imports, came from Ecuador (1.8 percent) Vietnam and Thailand (0.4 percent) and Oceania (0.1 percent).
The figures cited represent the quantities of oil that arrived at refineries, tanks and warehouses located at ports in Japan during July 2022.
— This article orignally appeared in Arab News Japan
RIYADH: The Jeddah Central project is expected to create 50,000 job opportunities in the city, Alaaddin Mogeem, director of architecture at the Jeddah Central Development Co. told Arab News.
Moqeem said the project will boost the Kingdom’s tourism sector. The official said Jeddah is likely to open new avenues for revenue in the tourism sector “through the fee for visitors who would like to come to Jeddah.”
Highlighting some attractions of the project, Moqeem said: “We are offering a marina and a cruise terminal for anyone” coming from abroad. 
He also said that in line with the Saudi Green Initiative, the firm has allocated 45 percent of the total space in its master plan to green spaces.
Moqeem said the WHO recommends the availability of 9 sq. meter green space per individual and “we are actually doubling that in our master plan.”
Talking about the design of the project, he said it is inspired by Jeddah’s historical Balad district, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
As construction of the Jeddah Central project has already started, the company expects to complete its first phase by 2027.
RIYADH: The Saudi Cabinet on Tuesday approved the establishment of duty-free markets at air, sea and land ports, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
King Salman chaired the weekly Cabinet meeting.
The decision to allow duty-free markets permits sale to passengers arriving and departing from the Kingdom.
The Cabinet also approved the establishment of the Saudi-Thai Coordination Council.
During the meeting, the ministers reviewed the discussions that took place between Saudi officials and their counterparts from different countries over the past days.
Furthermore, the Cabinet reviewed the Kingdom’s participation in G20 ministerial meetings, which were held in Bali, Indonesia, to accelerate the digital economic growth, technology and innovation, and bridging the digital gap through strategic initiatives and projects linking the world.
The meeting also approved an agreement with Ghana in the field of air transport services.
NEW YORK: Oil prices sank on Tuesday after a two-day rally as concern returned about weaker demand and the prospect of more interest rate hikes trumped support from OPEC+’s first output target cut since 2020.
Brent crude was down $3.26, or 3.4 percent, to $92.48 at 11:27 a.m. EDT (1527 GMT). US West Texas Intermediate fell from Monday’s trading to $86.37, down 50 cents or 0.6 percent from Friday’s close.
Technical factors, including that the US benchmark has been trading since Sunday without settlement due to the Labor Day holiday, helped support WTI over Brent. WTI still held close to multi-month lows.
Extended COVID-19 lockdowns in Chengdu, China, have added to worries that high inflation and interest rate hikes will hit demand. The European Central Bank is widely expected to lift rates sharply when it meets on Thursday.
“The OPEC+ news is now in the market and the focus has temporarily shifted to economic and inflationary concerns amongst which the two relevant factors are the extended COVID lockdowns in China and Thursday’s ECB rate decision,” said Tamas Varga of oil broker PVM.
“Undoubtedly, they raise fears of demand destruction.”
A stronger US dollar, which was up about 0.6 percent on better-than-expected American services industry data, also put pressure on oil prices.
The reading on services sector activity fed into expectations that the US Federal Reserve will keep raising interest rates, which could trigger a recession and bring down fuel demand.
On the supply side, signs that an agreement to resurrect Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers was less imminent challenged limited crude prices by reducing the odds that OPEC+ would move forward with its output reduction plan, said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho.
The EU’s foreign policy chief said on Monday he was less hopeful about a quick revival of the deal.
“You might not get an OPEC production cut if the Iranians don’t bring barrels to the market,” Yawger said.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies led by Russia, known as OPEC+, decided on Monday to cut their October output target by 100,000 barrels per day. Prices rose on Friday ahead of the meeting and after the decision.
As a result of the Labor Day holiday, weekly US inventory reports from the American Petroleum Institute and Energy Information Administration will be released on Wednesday and Thursday, a day later than usual. 
RIYADH: SoftBank Group, backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, is nearing a deal to sell Fortress Investment Group to Mubadala Investment Co. in a $2 billion deal, Bloomberg reported citing people familiar with the matter. 
The Abu Dhabi sovereign fund could announce an agreement in the coming weeks, the people added. 
Spokespeople for SoftBank, Mubadala and Fortress declined to comment. 
In 2017, SoftBank acquired Fortress intending to use the New York-based firm’s expertise to aid in managing its Vision Fund. 
LONDON: Iraq’s crude oil output was 67,000 barrels per day higher in August than July but exports from the south of the country continued to be constrained by delays to infrastructure upgrades, data from state-owned marketer SOMO showed.
Iraq produced 4.651 million bpd of crude in August, in line with its quota under an OPEC+ deal, the data seen by Reuters showed, but exports fell by 62,000 bpd, so the extra August supply went into Iraq’s storage tanks and internal consumption.
Exports from Iraq’s southern Basra province failed to offset a 45,000 bpd decline in shipments from Iraq’s Kurdistan region, rising by just 25,000 bpd from July to 3.25 million bpd in August.
Iraq’s bid to boost oil export capacity at its Gulf ports has faced setbacks because of delays in pumping station upgrades.
State-owned Basrah Oil Co. planned to increase southern export capacity to 3.35 million bpd in August and to 3.45 million bpd by September, from about 3.3 million bpd.
The new target came after BOC missed a deadline to reach export capacity of 3.45 million bpd in the second quarter.


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