Saudi Arabia, China Partnership for Geological Mapping Project in Arabian Shield Area

Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar al-Khorayef inspects a site during the tour (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar al-Khorayef inspects a site during the tour (Asharq Al-Awsat)
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Saudi Arabia, China Partnership for Geological Mapping Project in Arabian Shield Area

Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar al-Khorayef inspects a site during the tour (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar al-Khorayef inspects a site during the tour (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Saudi Arabia has launched a $207 million project of detailed geological maps of the Arabian Shield, one of the Saudi Geological Survey (SGS) projects, in partnership with the Chinese Geological Survey.

Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar al-Khorayef inaugurated the project, describing it as one of the most significant comprehensive strategic initiatives for the mining sector regarding the nature of the business, the volume of output, and the coverage area.

He added that the maps constitute the core of the general program of the geological survey, which is an essential element in achieving the goals of Vision 2030, and a first step towards endeavors, to be the third pillar of the Saudi industry.

Khorayef confirmed that the project aims to generate detailed digital geological data of the Arabian Shield, understand the origin of mineral deposits in the area, and strengthen the national geological database and the national library of drilling samples.

The data will provide domestic and international investors with a comprehensive understanding of Saudi Arabia's mining sector investment opportunities.

Geology

The Deputy Minister of Natural Resources for Geology and Chairman of the Chinese Geological Survey, Li Jianxing, said the project would become a new bridge between Saudi-Chinese relations, indicating that the maps will promote scientific progress in earth science and technology.

For his part, the Chinese Consul General in Jeddah, Wang Qimin, stated that the map project is an extension of the longstanding joint projects in the mining sector between the Kingdom and China.

He said it aligns with the Kingdom's Vision 2030 economic development plans and the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative.

Rock analyses

CEO of the Saudi Geological Survey, Abdullah al-Shamrani, explained that during the project, a detailed, high-tech digital geological mapping of all rocky outcroppings would be carried out, with an average of 700 examination sites per geological square.

He indicated that Saudi and Chinese geological experts would conduct several structural, mineral, and chemical analyses.

Shamrani divided the program into three main phases: initial settings, fieldwork and analysis, and final compilation of the map project.

The program is scheduled for 11 years and divided into two phases, the first extending to five years, including producing detailed geological maps of the promising mineral belt areas representing 40 percent of the project area.

The second phase spans over six years, during which 157 maps will be produced, representing the remaining area of the Arabian Shield.

Mineral deposits

The detailed geological maps project of the Arabian Shield aims to produce 271 detailed geological reports and maps of the Arabian Shield, in addition to providing the National Geological Database (NGD) with detailed digital geological data.

It will help enhance the understanding of the origin of mineral deposits and identify and explore new mineral deposits aiming to attract new investments in the mining sector.

The project is the hub for all information from the various historical and recent surveys in the form of two-dimensional maps showing the extent and types of mineralization in the Arabian Shield.



Oil Slips on US Growth Worries, Ample Crude Supply

FILE PHOTO: Petrochemical storage tanks are seen at the Suncor Energy chemical plant near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, October 7, 2021.  REUTERS/Todd Korol/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Petrochemical storage tanks are seen at the Suncor Energy chemical plant near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, October 7, 2021. REUTERS/Todd Korol/File Photo
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Oil Slips on US Growth Worries, Ample Crude Supply

FILE PHOTO: Petrochemical storage tanks are seen at the Suncor Energy chemical plant near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, October 7, 2021.  REUTERS/Todd Korol/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Petrochemical storage tanks are seen at the Suncor Energy chemical plant near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, October 7, 2021. REUTERS/Todd Korol/File Photo

Oil prices fell in early trade on Thursday, as investors digested that the US Federal Reserve had likely pushed back a possible interest rate cut to December, while ample US crude and fuel stocks also weighed on the market.
Brent crude futures lost 23 cents, or 0.3%, to $82.37 a barrel, as of 0415 GMT, and US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 20 cents, or 0.3%, to $78.30, Reuters reported.
Both benchmarks had gained about 0.8% in the previous session.
The Fed held rates steady on Wednesday and pushed out the start of policy easing to perhaps as late as December.
Higher borrowing costs tend to dampen economic growth, and can by extension, limit oil demand.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell said in a press conference after the US central bank's two-day policy meeting ended that inflation had fallen without a major blow to the economy, adding that there was no reason to think that can't go on.
On the supply side, US crude stockpiles rose more than expected last week, driven largely by a jump in imports, while fuel inventories also increased more than anticipated, data from the Energy Information Administration showed on Wednesday.
Also weighing on prices was a bearish report by the International Energy Agency, which warned of excess supply in the near future.
"This is in stark contrast to the bullish report from OPEC+ earlier this week. The oil group maintained its forecasts for strengthening demand," analysts at ANZ Research said.
Traders are also watching ongoing talks for a ceasefire in Gaza, which, if resolved, would reduce fears of potential supply disruptions from the oil producing region.