Saudi wants to enrich uranium under N-power plan

Daniel Fowler
September 13, 2019

Saudi Arabia's King Salman Bin Abdulaziz named his son Prince Abdulaziz as the country's energy minister, replacing Khalid Al-Falih, who led three years of active Opec (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) diplomacy to forge a global alliance with producers such as Russian Federation to limit production in order to prop up prices.

'We are proceeding with it cautiously. we are experimenting with two nuclear reactors, ' Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said, referring to a plan to issue a tender for the Gulf Arab state's first two nuclear power reactors.

The new energy official, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, buckles down to work following years as a member of the Kingdom's delegation to the Oil Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Speaking on Monday, Prince Abdulaziz said the pillars of Saudi policy would not change and that a global deal to cut oil production by 1.2 million barrels per day would survive "with the will of everybody". "I don't expect any big rupture in current Saudi oil policy".

Brent settled at $62.38 a barrel, shedding 21 cents, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures finished 45 cents, or 0.8%, lower at $57.40 a barrel. Until this trade war finds a resolution, prices will have a pretty limited space for growth, whatever OPEC+ decides to do. Over the weekend, King Salman replaced the country's powerful energy minister, Khalid al-Falih, with one of his own sons.

"Prince Abdulaziz is very experienced and has served in the energy industry for decades", Giovanni Staunovo, an analyst at UBS Group AG in Zurich, told Bloomberg News.

Saudi Arabia has backed US President Donald Trump's "maximum pressure" campaign against Iran after he withdrew the United States from a 2015 nuclear pact that curbed Iran's disputed nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief. Petromatrix Managing Director Olivier Jakob told the Financial Times that the move brought new uncertainty to the market.

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Trump would like to reduce USA troop numbers to about 8,600. "We hope the American side to review its current stance", he said. In a tweet, he accused journalists of trying 'to create the look of turmoil in the White House, of which there is none'.

Indeed, on Monday Ben Luckock, co-head of oil for global commodities trader Trafigura, said he remained bearish on the oil price until the year end due to a global economic slowdown, the U.S.

Oil prices rose on Wednesday after an industry report showed that crude stockpiles in the us fell last week by more than twice the amount that analysts had forecast.

Until Prince Abdulaziz's appointment late on Saturday night, Saudi Arabia's oil ministry has been since 1960 headed by civilian technocrats.

Dan Brouillette, a U.S. deputy energy secretary, iat the World Energy Congress in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, September 9, 2019.

Citing a copy of a document it had seen, the global news outlet said US Energy Secretary Rick Perry had granted six secret authorizations to companies to sell the know-how to the desert kingdom as part of a hoped-for broader deal on nuclear power.

But in the past efforts to lift prices have routinely backfired in the medium term (18-36 months) by encouraging competing supplies and limiting consumption through greater fuel efficiency, conservation and substitution.

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