At its latest meeting in Vienna, OPEC welcomed back Iran to its fold, and decided to hold its oil prices for the next six months. Production of oil will not be increased, to help Iran regain its former quota and second producer position, currently held by Iraq.
Turkey and the Kurdish Regional Government have agreed a massive new oil and gas deal, agreeing to transport billions of dollars worth of oil and gas through a cross-border pipeline. The deal has led to Turkey’s energy minister being called before Iraq’s government, as Iraq believes the KRG has no rights over the country’s oil and gas.
No deal has been struck regarding Iran’s nuclear programme following three days of talks between six of the world’s most powerful countries. Iran, the USA, Russia, China, UK, France and Germany met to discuss possible ways forward, and while no agreement was made, reports say delegates were pleased with the progress.
Authorities are taking extra precautions over people’s health at the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Makkah. There have been fears that the high number of pilgrims would prove an ideal breeding ground for the coronavirus known as MERS. The virus was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012, and has currently killed 58 people, though no cases have been reported at this year’s Hajj.
A multi-billion dollar renovation project will turn Makkah into one of the region’s most state-of-the-art cities, according to Saudi officials. The massive construction work can be seen everywhere by the hundreds of thousands of Muslims currently undertaking the annual haj pilgrimage, and while many see the development as necessary, there is an increasing number concerned about the legacy of the holy city.
The second phase of the federal trial over the 2010 BP oil spill has resumed in the US, with a focus on how much oil spewed into the Gulf of Mexico. During the trial, the judge heard that BP lied about the amount of oil that was leaked, with the case likely to last four weeks.
Iran has agreed to address concerns over its nuclear programme, following talks with representatives from countries including Britain, America, France and Germany. Mohamed Javad Zarif said the talks were substantive and businesslike, as relations continued to thaw between Iran and the West.