Gulf in the News – November 13, 2013

Op-Ed: America’s oil finds will not sideline Saudi Arabia

Source: Financial Times (Read full story)

America’s daily oil production was the highest in the world from the time oil was discovered until the mid-1970s. Average US production over that time period was about 10m barrels per day – far higher than the output of Saudi Arabia. However, that level of daily oil production did not garner the US any significant influence in international oil markets. Nor did it improve US energy security – it continued to import oil in ever greater quantities. Moreover, output levels have since declined. Even if the US reaches 11m b/d of crude oil production in 2014, this will not make it the leading producer. The Saudi output is about 11.7m b/d, and poised to increase. Further, Saudi Arabia has a ready spare capacity of an additional 2m b/d of crude. In addition, Saudi Arabia is by far the largest exporter of crude oil and products of crude oil. Its average exports for most of 2013 are about 7.6m b/d; the US exported just 1.9m b/d.

Tehran blames West for talks breakdown

Source: Arab News (Read full story)

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif hit back at US Secretary of State John Kerry late on Tuesday and blamed divisions between Western powers for the failure of talks over Tehran’s nuclear program in Geneva last week.

Zarif said that blaming Iran only served to undermine confidence in the negotiations which are set for another round on Nov. 20.

MPs vote to scrap key parts of PM’s grilling

Source: The Kuwait Times (Read full story)

The National Assembly overwhelmingly voted yesterday to remove essential parts from a grilling filed against the prime minister in a move unprecedented in Kuwait’s 51-year-old parliamentary history that forced the griller MP Riyadh Al-Adasani to refuse to debate the questioning. But in the grilling of Health Minister Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah Al-Sabah, 10 MPs filed a no-confidence motion against him following a six-hour debate over allegations of mismanagement…

Yemen sentences 9 for arms smuggling

Source: The Khaleej Times (Read full story)

Yemen has convicted nine men for arms smuggling after their ship was intercepted in the country’s territorial waters in January, sentencing them with up to 10 years in prison for smuggling Iranian-made weapons.

The Defense Ministry says the weapons included material for bombs and suicide belts, surface-to-air missiles, rocket-propelled grenades and ammunition.

Do not get overtaken by property market exuberance, IMF tells Dubai

Source: The Peninsula (Read full story)

“When you begin to see very rapid increases in any asset prices then you just need to be prepared to act,” said Masood Ahmed, the IMF’s Director for the Middle East and North Africa. “The government of Dubai is already beginning to act.”

House prices in the emirate have jumped over 20 percent in the last year, prompting the IMF to warn in July of the risk of another bubble forming after a crash of Dubai’s inflated property market in 2008-2010 nearly caused state-linked companies to default.