RIYADH: Global oil prices were little changed on Wednesday as markets weighed US demand concerns against China’s pledge to support economic growth.
Brent futures were flat at $79.63 a barrel by 11:00 a.m. Saudi time, while US West Texas Intermediate crude edged 10 cents lower to $75.65 per barrel.
On the supply side, data from the American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, showed crude oil, gasoline and distillate inventories all fell last week.
However, on the positive front, China’s top economic planner pledged on Tuesday it would roll out policies to “restore and expand” consumption in the world’s second-largest economy, which could boost oil demand.
Meanwhile, Russia is set to reduce its oil exports by 2.1 million tons in the third quarter, in line with planned voluntary export cuts of 500,000 barrels per day in August, according to the Energy Ministry.
QatarEnergy’s profit surges to $42.5bn
QatarEnergy on Tuesday reported a 154.6 billion Qatari riyals ($42.47 billion) net profit for 2022, a 58 percent rise in a year when demand for liquefied natural gas surged following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Earnings jumped on higher revenues and income from its share of profits from associates and joint ventures, financial statements from the state energy firm show.
Its bumper profits mirror those of other major oil and gas companies such as ExxonMobil and Shell, which reported record profits last year of $56 billion and $40 billion, respectively.
Saudi Arabian Oil Co. also posted a profit of $161 billion last year.
QatarEnergy’s revenues swelled to almost 189 billion riyals in the 12 months to Dec. 31, 2022, from 120.3 billion riyals in 2021. Net operating income from its share of associates’ profits rose to 1 billion riyals, from 645.8 million riyals in 2021.
Income from its share of profit from joint ventures stood at 82.6 billion riyals, against 52.4 billion riyals in 2021.
ADNOC Gas inks deal with Indian Oil Corp.
Abu Dhabi’s ADNOC Gas on Tuesday announced a 14-year $7 billion to $9 billion deal with Indian Oil Corp. to supply 1.2 million tons of LNG per year, ADNOC said in a statement.
The deal was signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the UAE last week, IOC said in a statement issued on Monday, adding that India’s trade treaty with the UAE enables it to import LNG without paying a 2.5 percent import tax.
Japan, Qatar upgrade energy ties during LNG talks
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida agreed to strengthen energy ties and economic cooperation with major gas producer Qatar on Tuesday during the final leg of a Gulf tour that has focused on securing energy supplies and promoting Japanese high tech.
Kishida, who has been urged by Japan’s gas lobby to secure new LNG supplies from Qatar, held talks with the emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani. They agreed to upgrade their countries’ relationship to strategic from comprehensive, “especially in energy, economy, defense, security and academic exchange,” the emir’s office said.
The two countries did not announce new LNG deals on Tuesday, but Kishida told Sheikh Tamim that “LNG serves a crucial role in Asia for a realistic energy transition,” according to a Japanese foreign ministry statement.
“Coordination with Qatar is extremely important for stabilizing global liquefied natural gas markets,” the Japanese foreign ministry said.
(With input from Reuters)