January 2017

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The Oil War Is Only Just Getting Started

It’s been a month now that investors and analysts have been closely watching two main drivers for oil prices: how OPEC is doing with the supply-cut deal, and how U.S. shale is responding to fifty-plus-dollar oil with rebounding drilling activity. Those two main factors are largely neutralizing each other, and are putting a floor and a cap to a price range of between $50 and $60. The U.S. rig count has been rising, while OPEC seems unfazed by the resurgence in North American shale activity and is trying to convince the market (and itself)…


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The Oil War Is Only Just Getting Started

It’s been a month now that investors and analysts have been closely watching two main drivers for oil prices: how OPEC is doing with the supply-cut deal, and how U.S. shale is responding to fifty-plus-dollar oil with rebounding drilling activity. Those two main factors are largely neutralizing each other, and are putting a floor and a cap to a price range of between $50 and $60. The U.S. rig count has been rising, while OPEC seems unfazed by the resurgence in North American shale activity and is trying to convince the market (and itself)…


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Is Iran Planning On Breaking Its OPEC Pledge?

According to a provision of the recent OPEC production deal, the Islamic Republic of Iran is mandated to keep production below a threshold of 3.797 million bpd. Yet this figure is below the regime’s desired long-term goal of 4 million bpd, the level Iran once produced at before sanctions were imposed in 2012. That goal now looks within reach, as Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh told the press after an Iranian cabinet meeting that crude production had reached 3.9 million bpd. The increase came as Iran restores links with energy markets in Asia…


No Picture

Is Iran Planning On Breaking Its OPEC Pledge?

According to a provision of the recent OPEC production deal, the Islamic Republic of Iran is mandated to keep production below a threshold of 3.797 million bpd. Yet this figure is below the regime’s desired long-term goal of 4 million bpd, the level Iran once produced at before sanctions were imposed in 2012. That goal now looks within reach, as Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh told the press after an Iranian cabinet meeting that crude production had reached 3.9 million bpd. The increase came as Iran restores links with energy markets in Asia…


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Five female Gulf artists highlight Jeddah’s art scene

Author: 
LULWA SHALHOUB | Arab News Staff
Wed, 2017-02-01
ID: 
1485898798667597800

JEDDAH: Art lovers can mark their calendars, as the contemporary art scene in Jeddah is about to get busy starting Thursday.
An exhibition entitled “And Along Came Polyester” is opening at Athr art platform, based at Serafi Mega Mall’s office towers, featuring five solo presentations by female artists from the Gulf.
The exhibition, alongside two others opening on the same day, is part of the 21,39 Jeddah Arts non-profit initiative organized by the Saudi Art Council.
“This is the first time to host five women from the (Gulf) region to present at Athr,” Leila Evangelista, one of the organizers at Athr, told Arab News.
“The story behind the title of the exhibition is that polyester is a material derivative from oil. Oil has been the main source of economic strength in the area from which the artists come.” 
The artists express their personal reflections of economic, domestic, architectural, nostalgic and cathartic processes and fluxes within their work.
“They and their observed surroundings are a result of a singular discovery that affected their already constantly shifting geopolitical, socioeconomic and religious communities,” Evangelista said.
From Saudi Arabia, Sarah Abu Abdullah’s exhibition “18 Blankets” is an experiential art project she uses as a vehicle to showcase the absurdity of reconstructing daily life in the context of domesticity.
Her work, to which her family and friends have contributed, unravels the “processes” of home, a journey mangled and untangled by the uncanny familiar within private domestic spaces.
Through her exhibition “The Shift,” Qatari artist Aisha Al-Sowaidi attempts to shift the dynamics in traditionally used objects and furniture.
She focuses on the “majlis,” redesigning core elements in its main function. With a sense of nostalgia, her artwork suggests that through having these objects in the memory, they can compel you to traverse through emotions.
Hala Al-Khalifa’s exhibition “She Wore Her Scars Like Wings” demonstrates a journey of healing for the Bahraini artist.
The artworks — covered in thick strokes of paint, interrupted with bold lines of color — depict deformed and mangled wings rising from the collision of strokes and dripping paint.
They provoke an emotional response, and realize a moment of intimacy and vulnerability, but also strength and perseverance.
Her works attempt to shed light on our emotional state, and pose as reminders of our natural ability to heal and overcome.
Emirati artist Layla Juma employs through her exhibition “A Still Moment in Thought & Spatial Perception” repetitive, geometric shapes to create rhythmic sequences and forms.
In her work, these shapes and rhythms are crafted to conceptually articulate the ever-changing architectural landscapes of the present and the imagination of their future.
Her recurrent, ruminating meditations consider the influence and impact of spatial arrangements.
Coming from Kuwait, Monira Al-Qadiri’s exhibition “Legacy” draws an unusual connection between black pearls and oil, emphasizing that they share the same color scheme on opposite ends of the dichroic color spectrum.
It highlights the exploitation of these two materials at various points in history, and how that has been fundamental to the cultural and economic life of the Gulf.
Al-Qadiri’s art installation likens the heads of oil drills to intruders from another planet. The substance of oil is an alien intruder that dramatically altered the historical narrative of an entire region.
Thursday will also mark the start of what 21,39 says is the “largest art event in Jeddah.” The day will witness the opening of the Tadafuq Group and Tasami exhibitions, and the launch of a series of art-related talks and panel discussions under the three-day Safar Forum.
Athr is collaborating with street food caterer Krab Load to bring together 20 food vendors to the On the Terrace rooftop open gathering that starts at 8 p.m.

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Trump’s Trade War With Mexico Could Crash Natural Gas Prices

The much hyped “trade war” that Donald Trump is apparently preparing for the southern neighbor of the U.S. could be over before its starts, as the full extent of the mutual dependency of the two countries is gradually revealed. One of the major aspects of this mutual dependency is natural gas. The U.S. last year exported some 127.4 billion cu ft of gas to Mexico on a monthly basis, almost twice the amount it used to export two years earlier. This increase has been a boon for shale gas producers who were struggling with falling profits…


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Why The Trump Administration Is A Huge Wildcard For The Oil Industry

The implications of a Trump presidency for the oil markets are hard to discern, given the unpredictability of the new administration. But a few possible scenarios are worth considering. The first is the most obvious. Trump and his Republican allies in Congress will do all they can to preside over a drilling boom. That will mean repealing regulations – the Congress is introducing legislation this week to kill an Obama era executive order on methane emissions from oil and gas wells drilled on federal land. It will presumably result in the opening…


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About 900 State Department officials sign dissent memo

Roughly 900 US State Department officials signed an internal dissent memo critical of President Donald Trump’s travel ban for refugees and immigrants from six Muslim-majority countries, a source familiar with the document said today. A senior State Department official confirmed that the memorandum in the department’s “dissent channel” had been submitted to management. White House spokesman Sean Spicer said yesterday he was aware of the memo but warned career diplomats that they should either “get with the programme or they can go”. On Friday, Trump signed an executive order that halted travel to the United States by people with passports from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days, and stopped the resettlement of refugees for 120 […]


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Why 100% Renewable Energy Is Just A Dream

The “Wind and Solar Will Save Us” story is based on a long list of misunderstandings and apples to oranges comparisons. Somehow, people seem to believe that our economy of 7.5 billion people can get along with a very short list of energy supplies. This short list will not include fossil fuels. Some would exclude nuclear, as well. Without these energy types, we find ourselves with a short list of types of energy — what BP calls Hydroelectric, Geobiomass (geothermal, wood, wood waste, and other miscellaneous types; also liquid fuels…