Saudi Arabia warns oil market speculators

SALMAN

Saudi Arabia said on Monday that its oil policy was based on economic principles, as speculation continued to swirl after last week’s OPEC meeting of political motives aimed at other producers. It also warned market speculators.

“The Kingdom’s oil policy is emanating from economic fundamentals, to achieve the economic interests of the Kingdom on the short and long term, and the interests of producers and consumers,” the Council of Ministers said following its weekly meeting.

Riyadh, along with its Gulf OPEC allies, resisted any OPEC output cut at the group’s meeting in Vienna, to maintain the exporting group market share in a battle with non-OPEC and North American producers.

Brent crude oil fell on Monday to a five-year low below $68 as investors looked for a price floor after the OPEC decision not to cut production. A boom in shale oil production and weaker growth in China and Europe have sent prices down by over a third since June.

Despite the steep fall, the Cabinet “expressed satisfaction” with the OPEC decision, which it said “reflects the cohesion of the organization and unity, and foresight, which is something that is of particular importance for the Kingdom,” SPA reported.

The Cabinet, chaired by Crown Prince Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, called for cooperation against market speculators and said “cooperation of the producers from within and outside OPEC is a shared responsibility to achieve stability.”

The Cabinet eased labor rules for the country’s construction contractors.

The Labor Ministry shall transfer services of workers from a stalled project’s contractor to a new contractor. The transfer charge will be paid by the state. If Saudis are transferred to the new contractor, they should be given wages and benefits not less than those paid by the previous contractor, unless they agree on other terms.

The Cabinet also decided to charge new prices for water sales to government, industrial and commercial sectors, Hajjar said, adding that the new price would be applied after one year and it would not be applied on the residential sector.

The Cabinet also approved new rules and regulations for social care homes. The law stipulates that such homes shall develop a rehabilitation program for men.

Haj Minister and Acting Information Minister Bandar Hajjar said the Cabinet backed the decision taken by the extraordinary meeting of the Arab League Council to discuss ways of supporting the Palestinian cause and its approval of the plan for the Arab movement to end the Israeli occupation of the territories of the State of Palestine, and the plan to submit a draft resolution to UN Security Council to end the occupation.

The Cabinet congratulated Bahrain on the successful parliamentary and municipal councils elections. The meeting was briefed on the results of the GCC Ministerial Council meeting to prepare for the upcoming GCC summit in Doha.

The Cabinet appreciated the efforts of security agencies in fighting drugs and following up drug gangs as well as the coordination between the Customs Department and relevant security authorities in preventing attempts of smuggling drugs into the Kingdom.

The Cabinet authorized the foreign minister to sign an agreement between King Abdulaziz Foundation and the Arab League. It also assigned the foreign minister to discuss with Kyrgyzstan and Cote d’Ivoire to sign an agreement for political consultations with their foreign ministries.

 
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