Tag Archives: Middle East (Energy)

Saudi vitality minister to carry press convention on Tuesday

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FILE PHOTO: Saudi Arabia’s new Power Minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman takes a tour on the exhibition throughout the 24th World Power Congress in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates September 9, 2019. REUTERS/Satish Kumar/File Picture

RIYADH (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s vitality minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman will maintain a press convention on Tuesday following the assaults on Aramco services in Abqaiq and Khurais which have lower the corporate’s crude oil provide by about 50 %, the media ministry mentioned.

Prince Abdulaziz had mentioned on Sunday Aramco would have extra info to share inside 48 hours.

Reporting By Stephen Kalin; Writing By Maha El Dahan

Our Requirements:The Thomson Reuters Belief Rules.

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Trump says he doesn’t need struggle after assault on Saudi oil amenities

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WASHINGTON/DUBAI (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump stated on Monday stated it appeared like Iran was behind assaults on oil vegetation in Saudi Arabia however burdened he didn’t need to go to struggle, because the assaults despatched oil costs hovering and raised fears of a brand new Center East battle.

Iran has rejected U.S. fees it was behind the strikes on Saturday that broken the world’s largest crude-processing plant and triggered the biggest soar in crude costs in many years.

Relations between the US and Iran have deteriorated since Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear accord final yr and reimposed sanctions over Tehran’s nuclear and ballistic applications. Washington additionally needs to stress Tehran to finish its assist of regional proxy forces, together with in Yemen the place Saudi forces have been preventing Iran-backed Houthis for 4 years.

America was nonetheless investigating if Iran was behind the Saudi strikes, Trump stated, however “it’s definitely trying that manner at this second.”

Trump, who has spent a lot of his presidency making an attempt to disentangle the US from wars he inherited, made clear, nonetheless, he was not going to hurry into a brand new battle on behalf of Saudi Arabia.

“I’m any person that would love to not have struggle,” Trump stated.

A number of U.S. Cupboard members, together with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vitality Secretary Rick Perry, have blamed Tehran for the strikes. Pompeo and others will journey to Saudi Arabia quickly, Trump stated.

A day after saying the US was “locked and loaded” to reply to the incident, Trump stated on Monday there was “no rush” to take action.

“We’ve got a whole lot of choices however I’m not taking a look at choices proper now. We need to discover definitively who did this,” he stated.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani stated the strikes had been carried out by “Yemeni folks” retaliating for assaults by a Saudi-led navy coalition in a struggle with the Houthi motion.

“Yemeni persons are exercising their professional proper of protection,” Rouhani instructed reporters throughout a go to to Ankara.

Iranian Overseas Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi referred to as the allegations “unacceptable and completely baseless.”

The assaults lower 5% of world crude oil manufacturing.

Oil costs surged by as a lot as 19% after the incidents however later got here off their peaks. The intraday soar was the most important for the reason that 1990-91 Gulf disaster over Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.

The market eased from its peak after Trump stated he would launch U.S. emergency provides and producers stated there have been sufficient shares saved up worldwide to make up for the shortfall. Costs had been round 12% larger by afternoon in the US.

SAUDI SUSPICIONS

Saudi Arabia stated the assaults had been carried out with Iranian weapons, including that it was able to responding forcefully and urging U.N. consultants to assist examine the raid.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman stated Iranian threats weren’t solely directed towards the dominion however towards the Center East and the world.

Whereas the prince didn’t immediately accuse Tehran, a Overseas Ministry assertion reported him as calling on the worldwide group to sentence whoever was behind the strike.

“The dominion is able to defending its land and folks and responding forcefully to these assaults,” the assertion added.

Saudi Arabia and Iran have been enemies for many years and are preventing quite a lot of proxy wars.

Trump stated he had not made commitments to guard the Saudis.

A satellite tv for pc picture displaying injury to grease/gasoline Saudi Aramco infrastructure at Khurais, in Saudi Arabia on this handout image launched by the usGovernment September 15, 2019. U.S. Authorities/DigitalGlobe/Handout through REUTERS

“No, I haven’t promised Saudis that. We’ve got to sit down down with the Saudis and work one thing out,” he stated. “That was an assault on Saudi Arabia, and that wasn’t an assault on us. However we would definitely assist them.”

Two sources briefed on state oil firm Saudi Aramco’s operations instructed Reuters it’d take months for Saudi oil manufacturing to return to regular. Earlier estimates had advised it may take weeks.

Saudi Arabia stated it will be capable to meet oil clients’ demand from its ample storage, though some deliveries had been disrupted. At the very least 11 supertankers had been ready to load oil cargoes from Saudi ports, ship monitoring information confirmed on Monday.

RISING TENSIONS

Stress within the oil-producing Gulf area has dramatically escalated this yr after Trump imposed extreme U.S. sanctions on Iran geared toward halting its oil exports altogether.

For months, Iranian officers have issued veiled threats, saying that if Tehran is blocked from exporting oil, different international locations will be unable to take action both. However Iran has denied a task in particular assaults, together with bombings of tankers within the Gulf and former strikes claimed by the Houthis.

U.S. allies in Europe oppose Trump’s “most stress” technique, arguing that it gives no clear mechanism to resolve points, making a danger the enemies may stumble into struggle.

Trump has stated his aim is to drive Iran to barter a more durable settlement and has left open the opportunity of talks with Rouhani at an upcoming U.N. assembly. Iran says there may be no talks till Washington lifts sanctions.

U.N. Yemen envoy Martin Griffiths instructed the U.N. Safety Council on Monday it was “not fully clear” who was behind the strike however he stated it had elevated the possibilities of a regional battle.

However the U.S. ambassador to the world physique, Kelly Craft, stated rising info on the assaults “signifies that duty lies with Iran” and that there isn’t any proof the assault got here from Yemen.

Iran’s Yemeni allies have promised extra strikes to return. Houthi navy spokesman Yahya Sarea stated the group carried out Saturday’s predawn assault with drones, together with some powered by jet engines.

“We guarantee the Saudi regime that our lengthy arm can attain anyplace we select and on the time of our selecting,” Sarea tweeted. “We warn firms and foreigners towards being close to the vegetation that we struck as a result of they’re nonetheless in our sights.”

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U.S. officers say they consider that the assaults got here from the wrong way, presumably from Iran itself reasonably than Yemen, and will have concerned cruise missiles. Wherever the assaults had been launched, nonetheless, they consider Iran is guilty.

The assaults have raised questions on how the dominion, one of many world’s high spenders on weaponry, a lot of it equipped by U.S. firms, was unable to guard oil vegetation from assault.

Sensing a business opening, President Vladimir Putin stated Russia was prepared to assist Saudi Arabia by offering Russian-made air protection techniques to guard Saudi infrastructure.

Russia and China stated it was unsuitable to leap to conclusions about who was guilty for the assault on Saudi Arabia.

Reporting by Steve Holland in Washington and Rania El Gamal in Dubai; Writing by William Maclean, Mike Collett-White and Doina Chiacu; Modifying by Alistair Bell and Peter Cooney

Our Requirements:The Thomson Reuters Belief Ideas.

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From Paris to Omaha: How Occidental CEO out-maneuvered Chevron in Anadarko bid

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NEW YORK (Reuters) – Occidental Petroleum chief executive Vicki Hollub was caught off guard when U.S. oil giant Chevron swooped in last month with a $33 billion offer to buy Anadarko Petroleum, the oil and gas exploration and production firm she had been wooing for nearly two years.

FILE PHOTO: Vicki Hollub, President and CEO of Occidental Petroleum, speaks at the 2019 Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., April 29, 2019. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo

Chevron, nearly five times larger than Occidental, appeared to have out-maneuvered its smaller rival. But on Sunday Hollub showed the fight was not over. After a whirlwind few days to raise more cash, Hollub offered a sweetened deal. By Thursday, Chevron had bowed out.

In edging out Chevron, Hollub leaned on global relationships and knowledge forged from 35 years in the oil industry, according to about a dozen people familiar with the talks leading up to the company’s latest offer.

Occidental had struggled to win over Anadarko because its first public $38 billion offer of 50 percent cash and 50 percent stock, as well as previous offers made privately, required the approval of Occidental shareholders, and Anadarko was not convinced they would go for the deal, two sources familiar with the discussions told Reuters.

Hollub knew she needed to substantially increase the cash offer – thereby making shareholder approval unnecessary – and moved swiftly to secure it, the sources said.

She was in Paris on April 26, just two weeks after Chevron’s announcement, and struck an $8.8 billion deal with French major Total SA to sell Anadarko assets her company didn’t yet own.

Two days later she was in Omaha, Nebraska, securing $10 billion in financing from billionaire investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc, who typically does not partner with companies pursuing unsolicited takeovers.

Occidental declined to make Hollub available for an interview for this story. The company’s shares are down 9 percent since making their offer public in late April.

The combined company would establish Occidental as the largest operator in the Permian basin in west Texas and New Mexico, the heart of the U.S. shale revolution, where a boom in production has propelled the United States into becoming the world’s largest oil producer.

It would make Occidental the third-largest U.S. oil company with a market value of about $80 billion, dwarfed only by global giants Exxon Mobil and Chevron.

“She’s doing the boldest M&A thing that’s happened since the ‘80s,” said Amy Myers Jaffe, energy consultant and senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. “You’re having an atypical M&A battle in a very competitive space where (usually) the bigger you are, the more you’re going to win.”

Hollub’s challenge has stunned an industry where the last attempt to break up an agreed-upon deal between two U.S. oil companies was in 1984 when Texaco challenged Pennzoil’s acquisition of Getty Oil.

It has also angered some Occidental investors who say Hollub is overstretching the company’s balance sheet in an ill-advised quest for size in a volatile industry.

“Our concern is the willingness of the management team at Occidental to cut very favorable deals against the interests of shareholders on a longer-term basis,” said John Linehan, portfolio manager at T. Rowe Price.

T. Rowe, the sixth-largest holder of Occidental shares, announced it would vote against the board of directors on the annual shareholder meeting Friday. But such a move may be mostly symbolic.

An Occidental spokesman declined to comment on the concerns but pointed to Hollub’s defense of her strategy that it was better to raise cash than issue new debt.

Hollub’s background in the technical aspects of oil production contrasts with her predecessor, a banker and known dealmaker. She has been described as down to earth by former and current employees, differing from flamboyant energy CEOs.

LONGTIME DISCUSSIONS

Buying Anadarko was seen as the best way for Occidental to gain more acreage in the Permian shale basin, where it markets nearly a quarter of all barrels produced in the region.

When Chevron announced a deal on April 12 to buy Anadarko, Hollub gathered the merger team. They were shocked that Anadarko had accepted a bid that was $11 per share below what Occidental had privately offered, three of the people familiar with the discussions said.

“She thought, we’re in it to win it. Let’s make our offer public so their shareholders know what they passed up,” one of the sources said.

In a letter to Anadarko’s board of directors on April 24, Occidental said they “were surprised and disappointed” that Anadarko had not agreed to their previous two offers in April.

Anadarko executives, however, remained concerned that Occidental shareholders could scuttle the deal, leaving them without a buyer, two sources familiar with the situation said. The board of directors wanted to stick with Chevron.

Just two days after sending the letter, Hollub was in Paris meeting with Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne to discuss Anadarko’s African assets, according to two sources familiar with the discussions.

The two already had a relationship stemming from the Dolphin Gas Project, a Middle East cross-border gas initiative where both companies have an equal share. Total had made it known to her that they coveted Anadarko’s properties, including a liquefied natural gas project in Mozambique.

“Vicki wanted to show that she could quickly put the cash on the table. In less than 10 days she had the cash ready,” a Paris-based source said.

Omaha, Nebraska was next. Buffett is known for moving quickly when a deal piques his interest, but he tends to avoid getting involved in hostile takeover bids.

The meeting was set up by BofA CEO Brian Moynihan, whose bank was helping to provide financing for the Anadarko deal. Hollub later said Buffett was “warm and wonderful” in their meeting, a source familiar with the discussions said.

Buffett, cash flush and on the hunt for new deals, agreed to provide $10 billion in financing in return for an 8 percent premium, a concern for dividend-focused shareholders who believe the terms are too pricey.

Slideshow (2 Images)

The two deals enabled Hollub to submit a revised offer on Sunday, increasing the cash component from 50 percent to 78 percent.

On Thursday, Chevron said it would collect its $1 billion termination fee and walk away from the negotiations.

(For a graphic on ‘Oxy-Anadarko would be third largest U.S. oil company’ click tmsnrt.rs/2VSZ3hY)

Reporting By Devika Krishna Kumar and Jessica Resnick Ault; additional reporting by David Gaffen, Bate Felix, David J. French, Jennifer Hiller, Jennifer Ablan; Writing by David Gaffen; Editing by Ross Colvin

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