Saudi top banks’ quarterly profits rise 2.7% boosted by rate hikes, higher oil prices: Report

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Oil Updates — Crude climbs; Pyrenees pipeline not a priority for France; Indonesia hikes fuel prices

RIYADH: Oil prices rose on Friday on expectations that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, a group known as OPEC+, will discuss output cuts at a meeting on Sept. 5, though concern over China’s COVID-19 curbs and weakness in the global economy loomed over the market.

Brent crude futures rose 66 cents to settle at $93.02 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 26 cents to settle at $86.87 a barrel.

French finance minister says Pyrenees pipeline not a priority

France should focus on tackling the near-term energy challenge posed by the approaching winter season, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Saturday when asked about a possible new gas pipeline via the Pyrenees.

“The short-term challenge is to have more gas, more oil more electricity coming from other countries than Russia,” he told reporters at a press conference at the Ambrosetti business forum in northern Italy.

“This is a question of months, weeks, days, I’m not sure that a new pipeline could help us to go through the winter,” he added.

“Let’s focus on the very short-term challenges,” he said, adding public opinion could question an investment in fossil fuel infrastructure because it expected instead an acceleration in the green energy transition.

“Electricity and hydrogen seem to me to be more promising than a new gas pipeline.”

Spain’s energy minister this week criticized France’s reluctance to support a project to build a third gas connection between the two countries to reduce Europe’s reliance on Russian gas.

Indonesia raises fuel prices

Indonesia raised subsidized fuel prices by about 30 percent on Saturday, as the government moves to rein in ballooning subsidies despite a risk of mass protests.

The price of subsidized gasoline was raised to 10,000 rupiahs ($67 US cents) a liter from 7,650 rupiahs, while that of subsidized diesel rose to 6,800 rupiahs a liter from 5,150 rupiahs, energy minister Arifin Tasrif said.

“I actually wanted domestic fuel prices to remain affordable by providing subsidies, but the budget for subsidies has tripled and will continue to increase,” President Joko Widodo told a news conference.

“Now the government has to make a decision in a difficult situation. This is the government’s last option,” said Jokowi, as the president is known.

Germany’s gas situation is tense and could worsen, regulator says

Germany’s gas supply situation is currently guaranteed but the situation is tense and further deterioration cannot be ruled out, the country’s network regulator said after Russia’s Gazprom extended an outage of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline.

Russia scrapped a Saturday deadline to resume flows via the pipeline, saying it had found an oil leak in a turbine during maintenance.

“The defects alleged by the Russian side are not a technical reason for the halt of operations,” the regulator said in its daily gas situation report.

(With input from Reuters) 


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