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Reeling From Low Oil Prices, Saudis Look To Freeze Megaprojects


Saudi Arabia will start reviewing a number of multi-billion-dollar infrastructure and development project—remnants from a better past when crude oil prices were in three-digit territory. Some of these, according to government sources, will be shelved and others will be restructured.

The review is part of urgent reforms prompted by the oil price rout from 2014, which saw Saudi Arabia plunge into a budget deficit for the first time in its history. As part of efforts to reform the oil-reliant economy, last year Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman removed from their positions the Kingdom’s long-serving oil and finance ministers, Ali al-Naimi and Ibrahim al-Assaf.

At the time, the Finance Minister defended these same megaprojects that will now be scrutinized by the Bureau of Capital and Operational Spending Rationalization, saying that when the investment decisions were made, the economic outlook was very different from where it was in 2016.

At the end of last year, the Saudi government calculated that the cost of completing all these projects would come in at $370 billion (1.4 trillion riyals). Now, those that are deemed still feasible will be retendered, the unnamed sources told Reuters, to be completed through public-private partnerships under build-operate-transfer contracts. This type of contract allows developers to complete a project and operate it for a set period, aiming to get some profit out of it before transferring ownership to the government

The Deputy Crown Prince who is in charge of turning the oil-dependent Kingdom around seems determined to do his job well, including through diversifying the economy into renewable energy with the extremely ambitious Vision 2030 plan, which stipulates that Saudi Arabia could start generating most of its energy from renewable sources as soon as 2030.

Meanwhile, however, sources from OPEC have confirmed that the Kingdom, along with other Gulf producers, are seeking oil prices of $60 to patch up their budgets and set aside some cash for new oil and gas investments.

By Irina Slav for


18 Comments on "Reeling From Low Oil Prices, Saudis Look To Freeze Megaprojects"

  1. bobinget on Tue, 18th Apr 2017 11:46 am 

    Saudi financed head of AQ MAY have been captured.

    (translation rough)

    Great if true……………..

    (Italiano) Esclusiva (DESI): “il Califfo dell’ISIS “Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi” arrestato dai Russi in Siria”
    April 18, 2017
    The Information Office of the Secretary General of the DESI European Department of Security and Information announced that:

    “the office had received accurate information indicating that the leader of al-Qaeda “Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi” may have been arrested in the north of Syria through a monitoring by the Syrian-Russian joint intelligence. This came after Baghdadi forcibly left Mosul as a result of the pursuit of his popular mobilization forces on April 2, 2017 and his entry to the Syrian border. The media office indicated that it will refrain from accurate information of the details of the operation pending confirmation of some of them and information still coming as a result of the accuracy of the stage and the consequences that may result from it. He pointed out that the interconnectedness of the units that resulted in the airport of hairs and the use of the chemical in Khan Shaykhun, Which is not to be attended by any Syrian team and will be limited to America, Russia and the UN delegate only may be to discuss a political settlement may be in part due to the Russian President Vladimir Putin About al-Baghdadi, which could undermine America’s credibility and shake credibility with its claims in international forums, may be relevant. Dr. Abu Said said that after contacting the head of the department Luciano Consorti and the Executive Council, who expressed great satisfaction to arrest al-Baghdadi, this helps to clarify the many things that happened in the past”

  2. bobinget on Wed, 19th Apr 2017 11:43 am 

    I apologize for republishing ‘fake news’ concerning not one or two carrier groups heading to N. Korea In fact there were NO carrier groups headed to NK.. Not one.

    It seems I was not the only fool, this fake news came directly form the White House. Apparently meant as
    agitation propaganda to confuse NK.

    As for the ‘news’ Baghdadi was captured, that too seems fake.

    Sorry again.

  3. Cloggie on Wed, 19th Apr 2017 11:46 am 

    Just on the Dutch 18:00 news; now there are carriers on their way to NK.

  4. GregT on Wed, 19th Apr 2017 11:48 am 

    The first casualty of war, is the truth bob.

  5. GregT on Wed, 19th Apr 2017 11:54 am 

    “Just on the Dutch 18:00 news; now there are carriers on their way to NK.”

    Same is being reported in Australian news.

    US defence boss addresses fleet confusion

    “The US military’s Pacific Command explained on Tuesday that the Carl Vinson strike group first had to complete a shorter-than-initially planned period of training with Australia.

    But it was now “proceeding to the Western Pacific as ordered”, it said.”

  6. Davy on Wed, 19th Apr 2017 12:06 pm 

    “The first casualty of war, is the truth bob.”

    The truth doesn’t need war to be a casualty. People with agendas of hate and blame do a fine job running it through the muck.

  7. Davy on Wed, 19th Apr 2017 12:11 pm 

    Nice sarc bob, but why not act like an adult. You do realize that in war there is disinformation as a tool of war. Do you think the enemy needs to know actual details? You blame fake news on the white house as if they are a villain but when is the last time you admitted to your lying liberal lefty’s fake news? We don’t need your war report because it is slanted towards your anti-American agenda. Your understanding of the military sphere is pretty elementary likewise.

  8. GregT on Wed, 19th Apr 2017 12:21 pm 

    “We don’t need your war report because it is slanted towards your anti-American agenda.”

    It wasn’t bob’s report Davy. It was information released by the White House.

  9. Davy on Wed, 19th Apr 2017 12:30 pm 

    Greg, mind your own business. I wasn’t talking to you. My comment was directed at bob’s routine military opinions put forth as fact.

  10. GregT on Wed, 19th Apr 2017 12:43 pm 

    “bob’s routine military opinion” was information released by the white house, and was echoed in media outlets around the world Davy.

    My comment was directed at you. My comment to you is my business.

  11. Davy on Wed, 19th Apr 2017 1:34 pm 

    Sure greg, your business should be searching for truth instead of poo pooing your emotions. Our fellow readers would be happy if we just ignored each other but your emotions are too tender to be polite.

  12. peakyeast on Wed, 19th Apr 2017 2:33 pm 

    I can honestly say that I appreciate 98 of 100 comments Bobs contributes to this site. Which is in the good end.

  13. GregT on Wed, 19th Apr 2017 5:10 pm 

    “Our fellow readers would be happy if we just ignored each other but your emotions are too tender to be polite.”

    Anybody who so wishes can read the above comments for themselves to see who started the emotionally driven personal attacks Davy.

  14. makati1 on Wed, 19th Apr 2017 5:57 pm 

    GregT, the only way Davy can defend his delusional flag waving is to rebut differing opinions by attacking the person saying them. There are no positives about the U$ these days so he has no real ammunition to use. Hence, the school yard bully method.

  15. Davy on Wed, 19th Apr 2017 6:07 pm 

    Oh, Makati, you are disqualified from this discussion. You swap spit with greg daily. Two peas in a pod don’t make a balanced survey. Talk about delusional world view you take the cake old man.

  16. Davy on Wed, 19th Apr 2017 6:10 pm 

    Greg, your emotional comment string you initiated stretches further back so give it a little more effort and get back to me.

  17. makati1 on Wed, 19th Apr 2017 7:12 pm 

    Delusional Davy, who cares what you think? It is obviously not rational or even mature. Keep defending your warmongering, dying country. It’s future is as a 3rd world country … or worse.

    “Americans Are Too “Idiotic To See How Enslaved They Are” Even As the Gates of Hell Open Up”
    “Military Adventurism: The Problem is Washington, Not North Korea”
    “Trump Has Killed Beautiful Babies in Four Countries”
    “Just How Bad Has The Police State in America Really Got?”
    ““Making America Great Again” by Reducing the World to Ashes?”
    “America Aggression: A Threat To The World”
    “A Government of Morons and War Criminals”
    “Trump’s Political Suicide Pushes China, Iran and Russia Closer”
    “Boeing to lay off hundreds more engineers”
    “The retail sector is shedding jobs like it’s a recession”
    “Trump Further Entrenches US Military Involvement in Somalia”
    “The Great Western Economic Depression”
    “The Left’s Descent to Fascism”
    “Young White America Is Haunted by a Crisis of Despair”
    “There Will Be Blood: Left Prepares For War After Berkeley Beat Down: “Combat Training, Better Equipment, Guns…”
    And on and on…

    Where are your “positive” U$ news articles Davy?

  18. Davy on Wed, 19th Apr 2017 7:23 pm 

    That’s your problem Makati. You are binary. Try digging deeper and maybe you will discover reality. Positive and negative are irrelevant to he truth. You are trapped in that Manila apartment and getting tunnel vision. Your paranoia is increasing. I can tell this by how hard you try to be negative.

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