Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, Kuwaiti Oil Minister Essam al-Marzouq and OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo attend a meeting of the 4th OPEC-Non-OPEC Ministerial Monitoring Committee in St. Petersburg, Russia July 24, 2017. REUTERS/Anton Vaganov
The Saudi Arabian energy minister Khalid Al Falih, Russian energy minister Alexander Novak, Kuwaiti oil minister Essam Al Marzouq and Opec secretary general Mohammad Barkindo meet in St Petersburg, RuShow more

Oil rebounds after Saudi Arabia pledges export cut

Oil rallied on Monday, erasing early losses after the leading Opec producer Saudi Arabia pledged to cut its exports to help speed up the rebalancing of global supply and demand.

The Saudi energy minister Khalid Al Falih said his country would limit crude oil exports at 6.6 million barrels per day in August, almost 1 million bpd below levels a year ago.

Brent September crude futures were up 53 cents on the day at US$48.59 a barrel by 10.41 GMT, having risen from an earlier session low of $47.68.

NYMEX crude for September delivery rose 41 cents to $46.18 a barrel.

"This is the Saudis saying they view the current market conditions as too weak and they are actually delivering," said the SEB commodity strategist Bjarne Schieldrop.

"It shows real additional willing on their part to do something, which is hugely important, rather than sitting back and letting Opec motions roll forward. They're acting unilaterally and adding pressure."

Mr Al Falih also said Opec and their non-Opec partners were committed to extending their existing 1.8 million bpd supply reduction deal beyond next March if necessary, but would demand that any non-compliant nations stick to the agreement.

Opec and some of its competitors met in the Russian city of St Petersburg to review market conditions and examine proposals related to their pact to cut output.

There was no discussion of deeper oil output cuts, but Mr Al Falih said Nigeria, which is exempt from the deal, had signalled it was ready to cap its output at about 1.8 million bpd.

Nigeria and Libya have been exempt from the cuts to help their industries recover from years of unrest.

"Al Falih is striking an optimistic tone today by also saying 'it is only a matter of time before inventories return to 5-year average', the question for the market is how long?," said the BNP Paribas head of commodity strategy Harry Tchilinguirian.

"With patience already being tested, a slow re-balancing of the market is unlikely to invite strong buying interest, and could lead to the early unravelling of potential summer price gains."

Opec and some non-Opec states including Russia agreed to cut production by 1.8 million bpd from January 2017 to the end of March 2018.

The Russian energy minister Alexander Novak said the output deal had helped to clear 350 million barrels of additional supply from the market so far this year.


Tewellah by Nawal Zoghbi is out now.

The biog

Age: 59

From: Giza Governorate, Egypt

Family: A daughter, two sons and wife

Favourite tree: Ghaf

Runner up favourite tree: Frankincense 

Favourite place on Sir Bani Yas Island: “I love all of Sir Bani Yas. Every spot of Sir Bani Yas, I love it.”

Getting there and where to stay

Etihad Airways operates seasonal flights from Abu Dhabi to Nice Côte d'Azur Airport. Services depart the UAE on Wednesdays and Sundays with outbound flights stopping briefly in Rome, return flights are non-stop. Fares start from Dh3,315, flights operate until September 18, 2022. 

The Radisson Blu Hotel Nice offers a western location right on Promenade des Anglais with rooms overlooking the Bay of Angels. Stays are priced from €101 ($114), including taxes.

Gender pay parity on track in the UAE

The UAE has a good record on gender pay parity, according to Mercer's Total Remuneration Study.

"In some of the lower levels of jobs women tend to be paid more than men, primarily because men are employed in blue collar jobs and women tend to be employed in white collar jobs which pay better," said Ted Raffoul, career products leader, Mena at Mercer. "I am yet to see a company in the UAE – particularly when you are looking at a blue chip multinationals or some of the bigger local companies – that actively discriminates when it comes to gender on pay."

Mr Raffoul said most gender issues are actually due to the cultural class, as the population is dominated by Asian and Arab cultures where men are generally expected to work and earn whereas women are meant to start a family.

"For that reason, we see a different gender gap. There are less women in senior roles because women tend to focus less on this but that’s not due to any companies having a policy penalising women for any reasons – it’s a cultural thing," he said.

As a result, Mr Raffoul said many companies in the UAE are coming up with benefit package programmes to help working mothers and the career development of women in general. 


The flights
Emirates, Etihad and Malaysia Airlines all fly direct from the UAE to Kuala Lumpur and on to Penang from about Dh2,300 return, including taxes. 

Where to stay
In Kuala Lumpur, Element is a recently opened, futuristic hotel high up in a Norman Foster-designed skyscraper. Rooms cost from Dh400 per night, including taxes. Hotel Stripes, also in KL, is a great value design hotel, with an infinity rooftop pool. Rooms cost from Dh310, including taxes. 

In Penang, Ren i Tang is a boutique b&b in what was once an ancient Chinese Medicine Hall in the centre of Little India. Rooms cost from Dh220, including taxes.
23 Love Lane in Penang is a luxury boutique heritage hotel in a converted mansion, with private tropical gardens. Rooms cost from Dh400, including taxes. 
In Langkawi, Temple Tree is a unique architectural villa hotel consisting of antique houses from all across Malaysia. Rooms cost from Dh350, including taxes.

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