Saudi Arabia Current Affairs - 2019

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OPEC cuts production to 500,000 barrels per day

On December 6, 2019, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries reached a deal deepening their output cuts. They have set the target as 500,000 barrels a day. The action is being implemented in order to eliminate surplus and bolster crude prices

Current Scenario

In 2019, the organization had agreed to reduce production by about 1.2 million barrels per day. Saudi Arabia in 2019 pumped well below its quota of 10.3 million barrels per day. Other members of the organization Azerbaijan, Mexico and Angola were unable to sustain their production quota due to natural declines. Russia had achieved its target in 3 months. Nigeria and Iraq increased their output.

The above data was published by the International Energy Agency.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia plays the major role in the OPEC decisions. OPEC oil production dipped to an eight-year low after attacks on Saudi oil plants. Following the attacks, Iraq emerged as the major producer of the organization.

India-OPEC

India imports 80% of its petroleum needs from OPEC countries. However, India has been reducing its dependence on the OPEC countries. In October 2019, India imported 4.56 million barrels per day from OPEC. This is 3.3% low as compared to the previous year.

Saudi Arabia allows women to serve in Armed Forces

As the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia embarks on a broad programme of economic and social reforms, the country announced that it will allow women in kingdom to serve in armed forces. This move is the latest in a series of measures aimed by country towards women empowerment and increasing the rights of women in kingdom, even as rights groups accuse Saudi Arabia of cracking down on women activists.

Reforms Undertaken in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabiaw which is the world’s largest crude exporter is now pushing to improve its image and attract tourists as part of a plan to diversify its economy away from oil.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom’s de facto ruler, has also approved a handful of reforms aimed at widening women’s rights. This includes allowing women to drive and to travel abroad without consent from a male ‘guardian’. Saudi Arabia has also allowed foreign couples to rent hotel rooms.

Earlier in 2018, Saudi Arabia had authorised women to join its security forces and now it has allowed women in kingdom to serve in armed forces. The women would now be able to serve as private first class, corporal or sergeant.