The UAE's energy minister, Suhail Al Mazrouei, met with the US energy secretary Rick Perry to discuss further collaboration in the energy sector. Courtesy of the UAE Ministry of Energy
The UAE's energy minister, Suhail Al Mazrouei, met with the US energy secretary Rick Perry to discuss further collaboration in the energy sector. Courtesy of the UAE Ministry of Energy

US eyes opportunities to sell LNG to Saudi Arabia



The US is eyeing opportunities to sell liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Saudi Arabia, and the UAE as its shale gas boom creates export opportunities and Arabian Gulf countries seek to meet rising domestic gas needs.

“Yes. As quick as contracts get signed and ships get filled, we want to be reliable and expeditious [in supplying],” said Rick Perry in reply to a reporter question on whether the US is seeking to sell LNG to the kingdom. He was speaking to reporters in Abu Dhabi during an official visit.

Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter, is exploring for new gas supplies which are needed for power generation, industrial use and as feedstock for petrochemical projects.

The UAE is also eyeing more LNG supplies from the US, according to a UAE energy ministry statement released on Wednesday. Deliveries from Houston-based LNG supplier Cheniere Energy have made their way to UAE ports since last year.

“The two ministers noted that the growing US LNG exports could provide an option for an additional source of gas supply to the region,” the UAE energy ministry said.

UAE energy minister Suhail Al Mazrouei also confirmed plans to buy gas directly from American suppliers as well as build petrochemical capacity in the US.

“Today UAE companies are working in the US buying gas, producing petrochemicals, so US gas is an opportunistic gas as Henry hub today is the lowest in the world in terms of price and has incentivised the petrochemical industry to move to the US," said Mr Al Mazrouei. "Are we buying Henry Hub gas? Yes, large quantities as well and we’re expanding."

The UAE, which is a net importer of gas, has been looking to diversify its supplies to meet growing demand. It receives two billion cubic feet of gas through the 364-kilometre subsea Dolphin Pipeline, which supplies gas from the massive North Dome field in Qatar. US-based Occidental Petroleum has a 24.5 per cent equity interest in the pipeline. While the UAE exports LNG, it has begun receiving LNG from US suppliers who have looked to tap international markets to ease a shale gas-fuelled glut at home.

"The world has changed, a decade ago when I was here visiting the UAE, the idea that the US could be a net exporter of natural gas was a fairy tale but it’s a reality," said Mr Perry. "One of the reasons that I’m here is to clearly send a signal that we’re not just a supplier of a natural resource but also a reliable partner in an array of different areas, the least of which is not investment in the region and also a supplier of energy where it makes sense to the respective countries."

UAE could explore opportunities to use US gas a feedstock in existing and future chemicals projects in the US, Mr Perry said.

"There are opportunities that we talked to [Adnoc chief executive] Dr Sultan [Al Jaber] about yesterday in the United States. This wasn't just us coming here saying, we hope you will allow the US to participate in some of your projects. This was a two-way conversation, which he clearly heard as did his excellency Suhail [Al Mazrouei] that we want to be partners and full partners," Mr Perry told The National on the sidelines of a conference in Abu Dhabi.

“There are some projects in the US that they may have some interest in, they may have some technology pilot programmes that we’re interested in partnering with and obviously upstream side of the industry here."

In March, Austrian firm Borealis,  Nova Chemicals, owned by Abu Dhabi strategic firm Mubadala Investment Company, as well as French energy majorTotal formed a US$1.7 billion venture to build a petrochemicals plant on the Texas’ Gulf coast.

Nova Chemicals is fully owned by Abu Dhabi’s international Petroleum Investment Company (Ipic), which merged with state-owned Mubadala in 2016. Ipic also holds a 64 per cent stake in Borealis - a joint operator of Abu Dhabi-based petrochemicals firm Borouge— through its stake in Austrian oil and gas firm OMV.

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

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Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

JOKE'S ON YOU

Google wasn't new to busting out April Fool's jokes: before the Gmail "prank", it tricked users with mind-reading MentalPlex responses and said well-fed pigeons were running its search engine operations .

In subsequent years, they announced home internet services through your toilet with its "patented GFlush system", made us believe the Moon's surface was made of cheese and unveiled a dating service in which they called founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page "Stanford PhD wannabes ".

But Gmail was all too real, purportedly inspired by one – a single – Google user complaining about the "poor quality of existing email services" and born "millions of M&Ms later".

ALRAWABI SCHOOL FOR GIRLS

Creator: Tima Shomali

Starring: Tara Abboud, Kira Yaghnam, Tara Atalla

Rating: 4/5

SPEC SHEET: APPLE M3 MACBOOK AIR (13")

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Display: 13.6-inch Liquid Retina, 2560 x 1664, 224ppi, 500 nits, True Tone, wide colour

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I/O: Thunderbolt 3/USB-4 (2), 3.5mm audio, Touch ID

Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3

Battery: 52.6Wh lithium-polymer, up to 18 hours, MagSafe charging

Camera: 1080p FaceTime HD

Video: Support for Apple ProRes, HDR with Dolby Vision, HDR10

Audio: 4-speaker system, wide stereo, support for Dolby Atmos, Spatial Audio and dynamic head tracking (with AirPods)

Colours: Midnight, silver, space grey, starlight

In the box: MacBook Air, 30W/35W dual-port/70w power adapter, USB-C-to-MagSafe cable, 2 Apple stickers

Price: From Dh4,599

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Edited and Introduced by Sjón and Ted Hodgkinson
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THE DETAILS

Deadpool 2

Dir: David Leitch

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Justin Dennison, Zazie Beetz

Four stars

ROUTE TO TITLE

Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

360Vuz PROFILE

Date started: January 2017
Founder: Khaled Zaatarah 
Based: Dubai and Los Angeles
Sector: Technology 
Size: 21 employees
Funding: $7 million 
Investors: Shorooq Partners, KBW Ventures, Vision Ventures, Hala Ventures, 500Startups, Plug and Play, Magnus Olsson, Samih Toukan, Jonathan Labin

COMPANY PROFILE

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Started: 2013
Co-founders: Ibrahim Imam, Sander van de Rijdt, Constantin Köck, Clemens Hammerl, Domagoj Dolinsek
Based: Vienna, Austria
Sector: Construction and real estate
Current number of staff: 400+
Investment stage: Series B
Investors: Headline, Berliner Volksbank Ventures, aws Gründerfonds, Cavalry Ventures, Proptech1, Russmedia, GR Capital

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Floward
Based: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Founders: Abdulaziz Al Loughani and Mohamed Al Arifi
Sector: E-commerce
Total funding: About $200 million
Investors: Aljazira Capital, Rainwater Partners, STV and Impact46
Number of employees: 1,200

Mercer, the investment consulting arm of US services company Marsh & McLennan, expects its wealth division to at least double its assets under management (AUM) in the Middle East as wealth in the region continues to grow despite economic headwinds, a company official said.

Mercer Wealth, which globally has $160 billion in AUM, plans to boost its AUM in the region to $2-$3bn in the next 2-3 years from the present $1bn, said Yasir AbuShaban, a Dubai-based principal with Mercer Wealth.

Within the next two to three years, we are looking at reaching $2 to $3 billion as a conservative estimate and we do see an opportunity to do so,” said Mr AbuShaban.

Mercer does not directly make investments, but allocates clients’ money they have discretion to, to professional asset managers. They also provide advice to clients.

“We have buying power. We can negotiate on their (client’s) behalf with asset managers to provide them lower fees than they otherwise would have to get on their own,” he added.

Mercer Wealth’s clients include sovereign wealth funds, family offices, and insurance companies among others.

From its office in Dubai, Mercer also looks after Africa, India and Turkey, where they also see opportunity for growth.

Wealth creation in Middle East and Africa (MEA) grew 8.5 per cent to $8.1 trillion last year from $7.5tn in 2015, higher than last year’s global average of 6 per cent and the second-highest growth in a region after Asia-Pacific which grew 9.9 per cent, according to consultancy Boston Consulting Group (BCG). In the region, where wealth grew just 1.9 per cent in 2015 compared with 2014, a pickup in oil prices has helped in wealth generation.

BCG is forecasting MEA wealth will rise to $12tn by 2021, growing at an annual average of 8 per cent.

Drivers of wealth generation in the region will be split evenly between new wealth creation and growth of performance of existing assets, according to BCG.

Another general trend in the region is clients’ looking for a comprehensive approach to investing, according to Mr AbuShaban.

“Institutional investors or some of the families are seeing a slowdown in the available capital they have to invest and in that sense they are looking at optimizing the way they manage their portfolios and making sure they are not investing haphazardly and different parts of their investment are working together,” said Mr AbuShaban.

Some clients also have a higher appetite for risk, given the low interest-rate environment that does not provide enough yield for some institutional investors. These clients are keen to invest in illiquid assets, such as private equity and infrastructure.

“What we have seen is a desire for higher returns in what has been a low-return environment specifically in various fixed income or bonds,” he said.

“In this environment, we have seen a de facto increase in the risk that clients are taking in things like illiquid investments, private equity investments, infrastructure and private debt, those kind of investments were higher illiquidity results in incrementally higher returns.”

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, one of the largest sovereign wealth funds, said in its 2016 report that has gradually increased its exposure in direct private equity and private credit transactions, mainly in Asian markets and especially in China and India. The authority’s private equity department focused on structured equities owing to “their defensive characteristics.”

How to vote in the UAE

1) Download your ballot https://www.fvap.gov/

2) Take it to the US Embassy

3) Deadline is October 15

4) The embassy will ensure all ballots reach the US in time for the November 3 poll

EMIRATES'S REVISED A350 DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE

Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

MATCH INFO

Asian Champions League, last 16, first leg:

Al Jazira 3 Persepolis 2

Second leg:

Monday, Azizi Stadium, Tehran. Kick off 7pm

Western Region Asia Cup T20 Qualifier

Sun Feb 23 – Thu Feb 27, Al Amerat, Oman

The two finalists advance to the Asia qualifier in Malaysia in August

 

Group A

Bahrain, Maldives, Oman, Qatar

 

Group B

UAE, Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia

SCORES

Yorkshire Vikings 144-1 in 12.5 overs
(Tom Kohler 72 not out, Harry Broook 42 not out)
bt Hobart Hurricanes 140-7 in 20 overs
(Caleb Jewell 38, Sean Willis 35, Karl Carver 2-29, Josh Shaw 2-39)


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