Concerned that skyrocketing oil prices might induce a worldwide economic slump, Saudi Arabia is planning to increase oil production next month by about a half-million barrels a day, the New York Times reported on its Web site on Friday.
Citing unnamed analysts and oil traders who have been briefed by Saudi officials, the newspaper said the increase could bring Saudi output to a production level of 10 million barrels a day.
The move is seen as a sign that the Saudis are becoming increasingly nervous about both the political and economic effect of high oil prices, the report said.
While they are reaping record profits, the Saudis are concerned that today’s record prices might eventually dampen economic growth and lead to lower oil demand, as is already happening in the US and other developed countries, the Times said.
The current oil prices are also making alternative fuels more viable, threatening the long-term prospects of the oil-based economy, the paper said.
Saudi Arabia is currently pumping 9.45 million barrels a day, which is an increase of about 300,000 barrels from last month. Crude oil prices slipped on Friday on a firming dollar and signs of slowing demand ahead of an exceptional international oil summit in Saudi Arabia next weekend.
New York’s main oil futures contract, light sweet crude for July delivery, shed US$1.88 to close at US$134.86 a barrel.
OPEC on Friday cut its estimate of growth in world oil demand for this year, as high prices and slower economic growth brake demand in major industrialized countries, the US in particular.
Global oil demand was now projected to rise by 1.28 percent this year, OPEC said in its latest monthly report, lowering its prior estimate of 1.35 percent.
NO VIRUS BLUES: A SEMI Taiwan official said that the virus does not slow down the global semiconductor industry’s investment in manufacturing equipment The production value of the nation’s semiconductor industry is expected to grow 16.7 percent this year from last year, outpacing the global industry’s 3.3 percent growth, industry association SEMI said yesterday. That would help Taiwan safeguard its second spot in the global semiconductor market with a production value of more than NT$3 trillion (US$102.73 billion), SEMI Taiwan president Terry Tsao (曹世綸) told a media briefing in Taipei for the Semicon Taiwan trade show beginning today. The global semiconductor industry’s production value is expected to increase to US$426 billion this year, SEMI said. In terms of semiconductor equipment investment, equipment billings from Taiwanese firms
Intel Corp has received licenses from US authorities to continue supplying certain products to Huawei Technologies Co (華為), a company spokesman said yesterday. Washington has been pushing governments around to world to squeeze out Huawei, saying that the telecom giant would hand data to Beijing for espionage. From Monday last week, new curbs have barred US companies from supplying or servicing Huawei. This week, the state-backed China Securities Journal reported that Intel had received permission to supply Huawei. China’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC, 中芯國際), which uses US-origin equipment to make chips for Huawei and other companies, last week confirmed that it had sought
INVEST IN TAIWAN: A metal components casting firm and the world’s largest maker of aluminum bicycle rims also obtained approvals to join the program Solar Applied Materials Technology Co (SOLAR, 光洋應用材料), a part of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) “green supply chain,” has pledged to invest NT$1 billion (US$34.1 million) to build a new plant at the Tainan Technology Industrial Park (台南科技工業區), the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday. SOLAR has been collaborating with TSMC to extract precious metals from waste and reuse them as “sputtering target” material in high-end semiconductor manufacturing, a TSMC press release issued in May said. Established in 1978, SOLAR also offers key materials and integrated services to customers in the optoelectronics, information and communications technology, petrochemicals and consumer electronics industries,
‘SWARM TECH’: Joint venture FARobot is to develop autonomous mobile robots that would first be deployed in Hon Hai’s factories to optimize production efficiency Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) and Adlink Technology Inc (凌華科技) have formed a robotic venture that aims to use “swarm technology” to create robots that can communicate with one another on the factory floor to optimize production efficiency. Hon Hai is Apple Inc’s leading iPhone assembler and the world’s largest contract electronics maker, while Adlink supplies industrial computers and Internet of Things solutions. Through a subsidiary, Hyield Venture Capital Co (鴻揚創投), Hon Hai holds a 51 percent stake in autonomous mobile robot (AMR) developer FARobot (法博智能移動), while Adlink owns the remaining 49 percent. Together, the two companies put up NT$200