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By On August 14, 2018

Canada-Saudi Arabia Dispute: Hospitals Brace for Staff Shortages as Riyadh Orders Students to Leave

Hospitals in Canada are struggling to address staff shortages as Saudi Arabia has ordered its students to leave the North American country amid a major diplomatic dispute.

The kingdom has given its students until August 31 to leave Canada, including more than 1,000 Saudi medical graduates participating in fellowship, residency training and research programs at health institutions. Due to the abrupt order, many have resigned from their positions ahead of the deadline, as they deal with personal affairs in preparation to depart.

Dr. Richard McLean, vice president of medical affairs and quality at Hamilton Health Sciences Centre, told The Globe and Mail that the diplomatic tensions will have a “destabilizing effect” on parts of the country’s healthcare system.

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“In the short term, I don’t think there’s an easily identifiable solution,” McLean said, pointing out that 156 Saudi doctors-in-training were working at Hamilton hospitals alone before the diplomatic spat occurred.

Dr. Paul Woods, CEP of London Health Sciences Centre, told CBC news that plans are underway to address the problem.

"It was something that caught me by surprise, as I'm sure it caught many people by surprise," Woods said. However, he explained that the healthcare sector “by its very nature” is accustomed to changes occurring on “a fairly regular basis."

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Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia suspended the scholarships of some 16,000 students studying in Canada. The move came following comments by Canada’s foreign ministry that criticized Saudi Arabia’s human rights record and called on Riyadh to release detained activists. Responding to the criticism, Saudi Arabia has also cut diplomatic ties with Canada, frozen all new trade and investment, canceled flights via its national carrier to Toronto and forbidden its citizens from receiving medical treatment in the country.

Despite the tensions, Canada has remained firm in its stance on human rights. On Monday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that while his country would “continue to engage diplomatically” with Saudi Ar abia, the country’s position on human rights is non-negotiable.

GettyImages-98744476 Saudi Health Minister Abdullah al-Rabia (L) talks to an unidentified surgeon during a seven-hour operation to separate two baby boys from Jordan conjoined at the stomach at King Abdulaziz Medical Centre in Riyadh on April 29, 2010. The kingdom has given its students until August 31 to leave Canada.

Saudi Arabia has had a long-standing program sending hundreds of recent medical graduates to Canada each year. According to Canadian media reports, the kingdom pays about $100,000 annually for each participating Saudi. The medical professionals receive high-quality training, and Canadians benefit from service provided at no additional cost to taxpayers.

Just a couple weeks before the diplomatic row, the Saudi Cultural Attaché in Canada Dr. Fawzi Bin Abdulghani Bukhari called the program an immense success. He also praised the “distinguished relations enjoyed by the [Saudi] Cultural Mission for more than 40 years with all Canadian medical schools,” Saudi media reported in July.

Paul-Émile Cloutier, president and chief executive of Health CareCAN, which represents Canadian hospitals and health-care institutions, told The Globe and Mail that there is still hope for a diplomatic breakthrough allowing the medical trainees to stay.

“It’s still very unknown if this is going to go through or not go through,” he said.

Source: Google News Saudi Arabia | Netizen 24 Saudi Arabia

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By On August 14, 2018

Oil bounce fizzles as dollar regains footing

Oil futures gave up small gains to end slightly lower Tuesday, feeling renewed pressure as the dollar found its footing and investors prepared for data on U.S. crude inventories.

The U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude for September delivery CLU8, -0.51% fell 16 cents, or 0.2%, to close at $67.04 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. October Brent crude, the global benchmark LCOV8, -0.46% lost 15 cents, or 0.2%, to end at $72.46 a barrel on the ICE Europe exchange.

Futures initially edged higher after Saudi Arabia told the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries that it had reduced crude output by 200,000 barrels a day to 10.29 million barrels a day in July. OPEC itself, using secondary sources, estimated in a report published on Monday that Saudi production was at a slightly higher level of 10.39 million barrels a day last month.

The reports suggest the kingdom, which is de facto leader of OPEC and the cartel’s largest producer, wants to avoid a repeat of a global supply glut that has depressed prices over the past few years. OPEC said in its Monday’s oil market report that its output overall rose in July by around 41,000 barrels a day.

The latest data on Saudi output comes at a time of expected export declines from Iran as the U.S. revives sanctions. Last week, the International Energy Agency said renewed sanctions against Iran could create supply problems later in the year.

A weaker dollar as the Turkish lira firmed may have also provided early support, but the U.S. currency later regained its poise, with the ICE U.S. Dollar Index DXY, +0.08% a measure of the U.S. unit against a basket of six major rivals, turning higher on the day. A st ronger currency can weigh on commodities priced in dollars by making them more expensive to investors investing in other currencies.

“Since mid-July, the front month Brent crude oil contract has been caught in a $72 a barrel to $75 a barrel range in a tug of war” between short-term bearish factors and the medium-term bullish impact of Iran sanctions due to kick in on Nov. 4, said Bjarne Schieldrop, chief commodities analyst at SEB Markets.

The oil cartel also lowered its demand outlook for this year and next. Oil demand growth in 2018 should now increase by 1.64 million barrels a day, while rising by 1.43 million barrels a day next yearâ€"both roughly 20,000 barrels a day lower than initial projections.

Saudi Arabia’s and Iran’s developments have also put new attention on what contributions non-OPEC producers, including the U.S., might make to the global markets. Total Russian oil output, meanwhile, rose by around 20,000 barrels a day in July, to average 11.27 million barrels a day, OPEC said.

Oil market observers are looking ahead Tuesday afternoon to weekly U.S. oil inventory data from the American Petroleum Institute, an industry group.

Oil futures ended off session lows Monday after tumbling sharply on expectations for an increase in crude stocks at the delivery hub for U.S. futures.

Monday’s initial tumble came after Genscape, a market intelligence firm, predicted a rise in inventories at the Cushing, Okla., delivery hub for Nymex crude futures. Official Energy Information Administration data are due Wednesday morning.

In other energy trading, September gasoline RBU8, -0.33% rose 1.94 cents, or 1%, to close at $2.0341 a gallon, while September heating oil HOU8, -0.44% lost 0.4% to close at $2.1287 a gallon. September natural-gas futures NGU18, -0.27% climbed 1% to finish at $2.959 per million British thermal units.

â€"Christopher Alessi contributed to this report

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Source: Google News Saudi Arabia | Netizen 24 Saudi Arabia

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By On August 14, 2018

Why Saudi Arabia Would Want to Invest in Elon Musk and Tesla

  1. Why Saudi Arabia Would Want to Invest in Elon Musk and Tesla WIRED
  2. What Saudi Arabia's interest in Tesla says about its long-term oil plans Axios
  3. In the Tesla drama, Saudi Arabia reminds Silicon Valley of its weight Recode
  4. Elon Musk on Twitter: "Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured." Twitter
  5. SEC Probes Tesla CEO Musk's Tweets Wall Street Journal
  6. Full coverage
Source: Google News Saudi Arabia | Netizen 24 Saudi Arabia

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By On August 14, 2018

Oil ticks higher as Saudi Arabia clips production

Oil futures moved higher Tuesday after Saudi Arabia said it had cut production in July, on top of market expectations for lighter Iranian output.

Saudi Arabia told the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries that it had reduced crude output by 200,000 barrels per day to 10.29 million bpd in July. OPEC itself, using secondary sources, estimated in a report published on Monday that Saudi production was at a slightly higher level of 10.39 million bpd last month.

The reports suggest the kingdom, which is de facto leader of OPEC and the cartel’s largest producer, wants to avoid a repeat of a global supply glut that has depressed prices over the past few years. OPEC said Monday, in its closely watched monthly oil market report, that its output overall rose in July by around 41,000 barrels a day.

In response, the U.S. benchmark, West Texas Intermediate crude for September deliv ery CLU8, +1.19% on the New York Mercantile Exchange, rose 69 cents, or 1%, to $67.89 a barrel.

October Brent crude, the global benchmark LCOV8, +1.24% was up 82 cents, or 1.1%, at $73.42 a barrel on th e ICE Europe exchange.

The lower Saudi output comes at a time of expected export declines from Iran as the U.S. revives sanctions. Last week, the International Energy Agency said renewed sanctions against Iran could create supply problems later in the year.

“Since mid-July, the front month Brent crude oil contract has been caught in a $72 a barrel to $75 a barrel range in a tug of war between short term bearish weaknesses and medium-term bullish Iran sanctions kicking in on November 4,” said Bjarne Schieldrop, chief commodities analyst at SEB Markets.

The oil cartel also lowered its demand outlook for this year and next. Oil demand growth in 2018 should now increase by 1.64 million barrels a day, while rising by 1.43 million barrels a day next yearâ€"both roughly 20,000 barrels a day lower than initial projections.

Saudi Arabia’s and Iran’s developments have also put new attention on what contributions non-OPEC producers, including the U.S., might make to the global markets. Total Russian oil output, meanwhile, rose by around 20,000 barrels a day in July, to average 11.27 million barrels a day, OPEC said.

Oil market observers are looking ahead Tuesday to weekly U.S. oil inventory data from the American Petroleum Institute, an industry group.

Oil futures ended off session lows Monday after tumbling sharply on expectations for an increase in crude stocks at the delivery hub for U.S. futures.

Monday’s initial tumble came after Genscape, a market intelligence firm, predicted a rise in inventories at the Cushing, Okla., delivery hub for Nymex crude futures. Official Energy Information Administration data are due Wednesday morning.

Also, Turkey’s currency crisis appeared to put some indirect pressure on U.S. oil futures Monday, with analysts tying modest weakness partly to a stronger dollar, and these outside influences could continue to impact oil trading. The lira stabilized somewhat Tuesday and the U.S. dollar index DXY, +0.06% was little changed at 96.29.

Read: Turkish lira hits fresh low as Erdogan’s currency crisis echoes through stock markets

In other energy trading, September gasoline RBU8, +2.29% rose 1.5% to $2.05 a gallon, while September heating oil HOU8, +1.43% lost 0.1% to close at $2.137 a gallon. September natural-gas futures NGU18, +1.19% lost 0.1% to $2.94 per million British thermal units.

â€"Christopher Alessi contributed to this report.

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Source: Google News Saudi Arabia | Netizen 24 Saudi Arabia

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By On August 14, 2018

What Saudi Arabia's interest in Tesla says about its long-term oil plans

Stories

What Saudi Arabia's interest in Tesla says about its long-term oil plans

A Saudi Arabian desert with a Tesla logo
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The prospect of Saudi Arabia backing Tesla provides a glimpse into the kingdom's oil and economic strategy, and it's not as simple as a hedge against crude's long-term decline.

Why it matters: Saudi Arabia is OPEC's dominant producer and holds massive reserves, but the kingdom wants to diversify its economy away from crude oil at a time when some analysts see a global demand peak beginning to appear over the long-term horizon.

Read more toggleShow lessGo deeper489 Words

Driving the news: Tesla CEO Elon Musk offered new details Monday about his discussions with the Saudi's sovereign wealth fund, called the Public Investment Fund (PIF), about bankrolling his take-private plan.

  • And that follows recent revelations that the PIF has already acquired a nearly 5% stake in the Silicon Valley electric automaker.

Between the lines: While electric vehicles are just a niche market today (less than 2% of global sales), the Saudi's are keen to invest in growing tech sectors â€" even one that will help erode oil's dominance in transportation.

But that doesn't mean they're envisioning the end of the oil age. They're also pouring massive resources into expanding state-owned petrochemicals giant SABIC, signaling deepening interest in oil's use beyond transportation fuels.

  • SABIC last year announced plans with Aramco, the Saudi's state oil gian t, for a massive $20 billion crude-to-chemicals plant in the country that could process 400,000 barrels-per-day.
  • Petrochemicals, used for plastics and other materials, are projected to be a major growth sector for oil use in coming decades, even as greater efficiency and electric cars eventually sap oil demand for transportation.

What they're saying: Randy Bell, who heads the Atlantic Council's Global Energy Center, sees a connection between the Saudi's Tesla investment and SABIC's expansion.

“It’s probably better thought of as a set of diversification strategies when it seems increasingly hard for the Saudis, over the medium term, to be a price setter.”â€" Bell in an interview.

Tesla investment could be a hedge against oil's peak in transportation, or...

  • “There is a scenario where it becomes a win-win, where electric vehicles grow but transportation fuel demand doesn’t peak,” Bell said.
  • He sees the prospect of a “bifurcated” scenario where there’s widespread electrification in China, the U.S. and elsewhere, but oil’s use in transportation keeps growing thanks to fossil fuel-powered vehicles remaining dominant in fast-growing India and Africa.

The intrigue: A separate question is why cash-burning, still-unprofitable Tesla in particular is interesting to Saudi officials. Bell says it's consistent with other PIF investments in companies like Uber and the SoftBank group.

“It’s technology investment writ large with an emphasis on learning and human capital development and advancing their ability to innovate.” â€" Bell, noting this is a goal of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The big picture: Sarah Ladislaw, an energy and geopolitics expert with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, sees a three-pronged Saudi approach:

  1. Growing investments outside the oil sector entirely.
  2. Going "deeper down the value chain" with petrochemicals.
  3. Wider investments in the automotive sector.

"I think this is a risk mitigation strategy against a world in which oil demand growth slows and plateaus," said Ladislaw. "They want to be competitively positioned no matter what."

The big question: Nobody really knows when worldwide oil demand will peak. Competing analyst and industry projections range from as soon as the late 2020s to beyond 2040.

Go deeper: Elon Musk confirms Saudi interest in Tesla.

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