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Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : Oil Prices Set for Best Week in Over 2 Months on Solid Demand Outlook

FILE PHOTO: Petrochemical storage tanks are seen at the Suncor Energy chemical plant near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, October 7, 2021.  REUTERS/Todd Korol/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Petrochemical storage tanks are seen at the Suncor Energy chemical plant near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, October 7, 2021. REUTERS/Todd Korol/File Photo
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Oil Prices Set for Best Week in Over 2 Months on Solid Demand Outlook

FILE PHOTO: Petrochemical storage tanks are seen at the Suncor Energy chemical plant near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, October 7, 2021.  REUTERS/Todd Korol/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Petrochemical storage tanks are seen at the Suncor Energy chemical plant near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, October 7, 2021. REUTERS/Todd Korol/File Photo

Oil prices eased on Friday as markets evaluated the impact of US interest rates staying higher for longer than anticipated, but crude benchmarks headed for their best week in more than two months after solid projections for crude and fuel demand.
Brent crude futures were down 34 cents, or 0.4%, at $82.41 a barrel by 0344 GMT. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) US crude futures lost 41 cents, or 0.5%, to trade at $78.21 a barrel.
However, Brent and the US benchmark gained over 3% for the week - the best week since April 5.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) stuck to a forecast for relatively strong growth in global oil demand for 2024 and Goldman Sachs projected solid US fuel demand this summer.
This helped reverse losses in the previous week which were driven by an agreement by OPEC and its allies, together called OPEC+, to start unwinding output cuts after September.
"Overall, this week can be characterized as a recovery effort for oil," said Tim Waterer, chief market analyst at KCM Trade based in Australia.
"I wouldn't be surprised to see oil prices head higher from here whilst the demand outlook continues to look rosier. Much may depend on how the northern hemisphere summer demand picture plays out."
Providing further support to the market, Russia pledged to meet its output obligations under the OPEC+ pact, after saying it exceeded its quota in May.
However, the price rally this week cooled after the US Federal Reserve held interest rates steady and pushed out the start of rate cuts to as late as December.
Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency said in a report on Wednesday it sees oil demand peaking by 2029, leveling off at around 106 million barrels per day (bpd) towards the end of the decade.
On the downside, concerns over economic outlook grew after the Fed's view on rate cut, but that said, to the extent that this buoys the US dollar, it could offer a measure of support to Brent, BMI analysts wrote in a note.
Market focus is also on the ongoing Gaza ceasefire talks, which, if resolved, would alleviate concerns about potential disruptions in oil supply from the region.
The US is very concerned that hostilities on the Israel-Lebanon border could escalate to a full-out war, a senior US official said, saying that specific security arrangements are needed for the area and a ceasefire in Gaza is not enough.



Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : Saudi Energy and Economy Ministries Launch Carbon Capture, Utilization Challenge with UpLink

The Saudi flag. Aswat Asharq Al-Awsatt
The Saudi flag. Aswat Asharq Al-Awsatt
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Saudi Energy and Economy Ministries Launch Carbon Capture, Utilization Challenge with UpLink

The Saudi flag. Aswat Asharq Al-Awsatt
The Saudi flag. Aswat Asharq Al-Awsatt

Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Economy and Planning (MEP) and Ministry of Energy (MoEnergy), in collaboration with UpLink, have launched the Carbon Capture and Utilization Challenge which seeks innovative solutions that accelerate the circular carbon economy.

The challenge was launched during the United Nations High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) in a main session titled ‘SDG 13 and Interlinkages with Other SDGs – Climate Action’ held on July 10.

The challenge encourages startups to submit distinct solutions that drive carbon reductions through sustainable systems transformation, including carbon capture technologies, novel carbon utilization applications, and industrial integration.

The initiative emphasizes the importance of carbon capture and utilization (CCU), highlighting the crucial role innovation plays in driving a sustainable and economically prosperous future and the important role of carbon removal in reaching net-zero goals by mid-century.

“The climate change issue and sustainability is a global issue,” Saudi Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said. “It cannot be attended to in regional scopes or as a smaller territorial thing. It has to be global.”

He stated that the Kingdom seeks to enhance its efforts to achieve its ambitious goal of reaching net zero by 2060 through the Circular Carbon Economy Framework, which not only reduces the impact of carbon emissions, but also values carbon as a resource with real economic value, rather than pollutant.

He also indicated that the Kingdom, in line with this vision, and in order to exploit the economic value of carbon worldwide, has launched, in partnership with leading organizations, a global carbon capture and utilization challenge.

The Minister stressed that Saudi Arabia, by adopting such challenge, is leading influential changes in efforts to confront climate change, as this challenge represents an opportunity for individuals and organizations to transform tomorrow’s challenges into today’s solutions, through joint efforts and pioneering innovations.

Saudi Minister of Economy and Planning Faisal Alibrahim said: “The Kingdom is keen on a just, orderly, and pragmatic energy transition and is working towards the advancement of the circular carbon economy framework.”

“Through this challenge, related to innovation inside the circular carbon economy, we look forward to seeing new solutions that would help push innovation forward,” he said.

He encouraged all innovators and companies to come up with “out-of-the-box solutions.”

Submissions will be evaluated on factors such as scalability, commercial viability, technological readiness, and fundraising success.

Winners will be recognized as top innovators and form part of the UpLink Innovation Ecosystem, a curated program for founders, CEOs, executive directors, and other leaders. They will also share a cash award of up to CHF 300,000 and receive technical, business, and operational support to scale their ideas.