Oil Slips as Gaza Talks Ease Supply Worries; Hurricane Beryl in Focus

FILE PHOTO: Oil pump jacks are seen at Vaca Muerta shale oil and gas drilling, in the Patagonian province of Neuquen, Argentina January 21, 2019. REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Oil pump jacks are seen at Vaca Muerta shale oil and gas drilling, in the Patagonian province of Neuquen, Argentina January 21, 2019. REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian/File Photo
TT

Oil Slips as Gaza Talks Ease Supply Worries; Hurricane Beryl in Focus

FILE PHOTO: Oil pump jacks are seen at Vaca Muerta shale oil and gas drilling, in the Patagonian province of Neuquen, Argentina January 21, 2019. REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Oil pump jacks are seen at Vaca Muerta shale oil and gas drilling, in the Patagonian province of Neuquen, Argentina January 21, 2019. REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian/File Photo

Oil prices slid on Monday after rising for four weeks, as the prospect of a ceasefire deal in Gaza eased tensions in the Middle East, while investors assessed potential disruption to US energy supplies from Hurricane Beryl.
Brent crude futures were down 49 cents, or 0.57%, at $86.05 a barrel, as at 0843 GMT. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was at $82.53 a barrel, down 63 cents, or 0.76%, Reuters said.
Talks over a US ceasefire plan aimed at ending the nine-month-old war in Gaza are under way and being mediated by Qatar and Egypt.
"If anything concrete comes from the ceasefire talks, it will take some of geopolitical bids out of the market for now," said IG analyst Tony Sycamore based in Sydney.
The ports of Corpus Christi, Houston, Galveston, Freeport and Texas City closed on Sunday to prepare for Hurricane Beryl, which is expected to make a landfall in the middle of the Texas coast between Galveston and Corpus Christi later on Monday.
"Weekly settlement prices suggest that investors liked what they saw in spite of the pre-weekend profit-taking in oil, which continues this morning on the prospect of the resumption of ceasefire talks between Israel and Hamas and the closure of Texan ports", said PVM analyst Tamas Varga.
Port closures could bring a temporary halt to crude and liquefied natural gas exports, oil shipments to refineries and motor fuel deliveries from those plants.
"While this puts some offshore oil and gas production at risk, the concern when the storm makes landfall is the potential impact it could have on refinery infrastructure," ING analysts led by Warren Patterson said in a note.
WTI gained 2.1% last week after data from the Energy Information Administration showed stockpiles for crude and refined products fell in the week ended June 28.
IG's Sycamore said there is also a good chance of the US. data showing another large weekly draw in US oil inventories amid peak driving season.
Investors were also watching for any impact from elections in the UK, France and Iran last week on geopolitics and energy policies.



New Legislation Facilitates Investment in Saudi Tourism Sector

Saudi Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khatib (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Saudi Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khatib (Asharq Al-Awsat)
TT

New Legislation Facilitates Investment in Saudi Tourism Sector

Saudi Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khatib (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Saudi Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khatib (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Saudi Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khatib said, in an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, that work is underway on new regulations and legislation that will facilitate the investment process in the Kingdom.
Saudi Arabia is witnessing a major transformation in the tourism sector after it enacted and developed a number of regulations and launched mega projects that allowed the country to attract more than 100 million visitors last year, the target initially set for 2030.
During a press conference on Wednesday at the Abu Faraj heritage palaces in Al-Aziza, west of the city of Abha in the southern Aseer region, Al-Khatib revealed the ministry’s moves to provide appropriate long-term funding at a competitive cost in order to encourage investment in the Saudi tourism system.
In his remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, the minister pointed to the most prominent achievements in the sector, revealing that the Kingdom received 60 million visitors during the first half of 2024, with spending amounting to SAR 143 billion ($38.1 billion), recording about 10 percent growth in the number of tourists and spending.
He added that by the end of the first half of this year, the sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product had reached 5 percent, and was moving steadily toward achieving 10 percent, which is equivalent to SAR 600-700 billion of tourism income.
Moreover, Al-Khatib also spoke about the launch of the Bachelor of International Hospitality Management program, a partnership between the Ministry of Tourism, King Khalid University, and Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
He noted that a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Ministry of Tourism and the Colleges of Excellence Company, with the aim of developing human capabilities and expanding international specialized technical colleges and strategic partnership institutes in the field of tourism and hospitality.
Al-Khateeb said 10,000 training opportunities both inside and outside the Kingdom would be allocated to those working in the Aseer region’s tourism sector.
The National Tourism Strategy aims to reach over 150 million local and international tourists by 2030. In 2023, it reached 109 million.
The minister added: “The Tourism Development Fund plays an important role in providing financing, allocating SAR 7.4 billion to enable over 100 tourism projects around the Kingdom with a value exceeding SAR 35 billion.”
He pointed out that the fund financed 10 major projects in the Aseer region, ranging from international hotels to multi-use projects with a value exceeding one billion riyals. International hotel brands included: InterContinental Residence in Abha, DoubleTree in Khamis Mushait Governorate, and Khayal Walk Boulevard.