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Saudi Arabia advises citizens not to travel to Lebanon

18-10-2021

RIYADH/ BEIRUT/ LONDON: Saudi Arabia has advised its citizens not to travel to Lebanon in light of the latest security events, the foreign ministry wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

Lebanon remains on a Saudi travel list where obtaining prior permission to visit is required.

On Thursday, seven people were killed in violence in Beirut as crowds headed for a protest called by the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group and its Shi’ite ally Amal.

The ministry also asked Saudi citizens currently in Lebanon to take precautions and stay away from gathering places.

Earlier, oil prices hit multi-year highs on Monday buoyed by recovering demand and high natural gas and coal prices encouraging users to switch to fuel oil and diesel for power generation.

Brent crude oil futures were up 59 cents, or 0.7%, to $85.45 a barrel by 0900 GMT, after hitting $86.04, their highest level since October 2018.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures climbed 90 cents, or 1.1%, to $83.18 a barrel, after hitting a $83.73, their highest since October 2014.

Both contracts rose by at least 3% last week.

“Easing restrictions around the world are likely to help the recovery in fuel consumption,” analysts at ANZ bank said in a note, adding that gas-to-oil switching for power generation alone could boost demand by as much as 450,000 barrels per day in the fourth quarter.

Cold temperatures in the northern hemisphere are also expected to worsen an oil supply deficit, said Edward Moya, senior analyst at OANDA.

“The oil market deficit seems poised to get worse as the energy crunch will intensify as the weather in the north has already started to get colder,” he said.

“As coal, electricity, and natural gas shortages lead to additional demand for crude, it appears that won’t be accompanied by significantly extra barrels from OPEC+ or the U.S.,” he said.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Monday that Japan would urge oil producers to increase output and take steps to cushion the impact of surging energy costs on industry. (Int’l Monitoring Desk)

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