Elon Musk warns of supply constraints; Doha Gas Agreements in Qatar Forum



Tesla CEO Elon Musk told the Qatar Economic Forum that supply constraints are the main drag on the electric car maker’s growth.

In a wide-ranging interview with Bloomberg News editor John Micklethwait, the world’s richest man said there are still some “unresolved questions” about Twitter, and he’s waiting for a resolution on the question of the number of bots on the social media platform.

Earlier, Qatari Energy Minister Saad Al-Kaabi blamed underinvestment on high gas prices and called for more spending. The Gulf state, one of the largest LNG exporters in the world, is one of the few countries that can significantly replace Russian gas supplies to Europe.

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Western companies are investing in a $29 billion project to boost Doha exports – one of the biggest projects in the natural gas industry. State-owned QatarEnergy is expected to announce another deal on Tuesday, and Al-Kaabi said Exxon Mobil will get a stake.

NOTE: Qatar Ministry of Trade and Industry, Qatar Investment Authority and Qatar Investment Promotion Agency are subscribers to Qatar Economic Forum, powered by Bloomberg. Media City Qatar is the host organization.

Highlights:

  • Musk says supply constraints are Tesla’s biggest drag on growth
  • Exxon CEO warns oil markets could be ‘stretched’ for five years
  • Conoco invests in Qatar’s $29 billion natural gas expansion plan
  • Other speakers: StanChart’s Winters, Vitol’s Hardy, Steve Mnuchin


Musk says he can balance China, Tesla, Twitter (10:10 a.m. Doha)

Elon Musk said he doesn’t think there will be a problem balancing his Tesla interests in China with the future acquisition of Twitter Inc. The platform does not operate in China and “China is not trying to ‘interfere with the free speech of the press in the United States, as far as I know,’ he said in an interview.

Musk said there are still some “unresolved questions” about Twitter, and is still awaiting resolution on the issue of the number of bots on the social media platform. “There is the question of whether the debt part of the cycle will come together and then shareholders will vote in favour,” he said.

The billionaire also said supply constraints are the biggest drag on Tesla’s growth, rather than competition from rival automakers. Job cuts at the electric car maker will lead to a 3.5% reduction in the workforce, he said.

Musk, who told Tesla executives earlier this month he had a “super bad feeling” about the economy, warned that a U.S. recession was likely. He said he was undecided about who he would support in the 2024 presidential election when asked specifically if he would support former President Donald Trump.


Exxon sees tight oil markets for five years (10 a.m. Doha)

Exxon Mobil Corp. said global oil markets could remain tight for another three to five years, largely due to a lack of investment since the start of the pandemic. It will take time for oil companies to “catch up” with the investments needed to ensure there is enough oil, CEO Darren Woods told the forum.

Oil prices have soared nearly 50% this year to around $110 a barrel, largely due to fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. That further squeezed a market that was struggling to ramp up production fast enough to keep up with economies recovering from the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Qatari Energy Minister Saad Al-Kaabi blamed the underinvestment on high gas prices and called for more spending. Western companies, including ConocoPhillips, are investing in a $29 billion project to boost exports from Doha. Exxon is one of the bidders and Al-Kaabi said the US company would get a stake.

Kuwait Petroleum Corp. Managing Director Sheikh Nawaf Al-Sabah also singled out underinvestment as the main reason for the price hike, and said Kuwait is committed to making the necessary investments to ensure that it can meet the growing demand.


EU has been ‘unfair’ to Georgia, PM says (9.40am Doha)

Georgia considers it “unfair” that the European Union does not grant the country candidate status after recommending it to Ukraine and Moldova, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said in an interview with the Qatar Economic Forum with Bloomberg Editor John Micklethwait.

The Caucasus nation ‘would be the first country to be granted status’ on the merits of complying with EU demands, and the bloc has given it to Ukraine and Moldova due to the situation created by Russia’s war, he said.

Although Georgia supports Ukraine politically, it is in a “very vulnerable” position and cannot impose national sanctions on Russia for the invasion, although it does not let Russian companies use Georgian territory for circumvent the sanctions, Garibashvili said.

Georgia remains committed to joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, but understands it must first resolve its territorial issues with 20% of Georgian territory under Russian occupation since a 2008 war, PM says .


Qatar’s Emir Says High Energy Prices Won’t Last Forever (9:15 am Doha)

“We realize that high energy prices are not permanent and will not last forever,” Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani said at the Forum’s opening in Doha on Tuesday. The Persian Gulf nation is one of the world’s largest fuel suppliers.

“We have been through long periods of low energy prices,” said Sheikh Tamim. “The only thing that offset that was sound policies and savings during times of higher prices.”


Roubini warns of US recession (09:10 am Doha)

Roubini calls for a US recession by the end of the year. “We’re getting very close” as measures of consumer confidence, retail sales, manufacturing activity and housing slow sharply amid elevated inflation, he said on Bloomberg. TV.

He sees further declines for stocks and bonds in this environment.

Stock prices tend to fall 35% during U.S. recessions and 50% during periods of stagflation, the managing director of Roubini Macro Associates said, adding that the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield could reach “well to the above 4%”. Meanwhile, if the yen falls another 10% against the dollar, it will “imply a policy shift” from the Bank of Japan, likely in terms of yield curve control, he added.


Namibia’s GDP could double by 2040 thanks to oil discoveries (8 a.m. Doha)

Namibia and its partners are “all aligned” to bring the country’s first two oil discoveries into production as soon as possible, said Jennifer Comalie, president of National Petroleum Corp. of Namibia, in an interview with Bloomberg TV on Tuesday on the sidelines of the QEF.

TotalEnergies SE said in February it had made a “significant” oil discovery, weeks after Shell announced a discovery in the south-west African country. “At their peak, these two discoveries could bring $5.6 billion to a very small economy, doubling GDP by 2040,” Comalie said, without giving details on when the fields might start production or on the amount of oil that will be pumped.


ConocoPhillips invests in Qatar Gas (June 20)

ConocoPhillips CEO Ryan Lance said volatility in global gas markets could last for years as the Houston-based company joined other Western energy companies investing in Qatar’s North Field East project, which is expected to start. to operate in early 2026.

TotalEnergies SE of France and Eni SpA of Italy also bought stakes, while Shell Plc and Exxon Mobil Corp. are among the other bidders. The expansion will increase Qatar’s LNG capacity to 110 million tonnes per year from 77 million, just as demand increases across the world.

European buyers have been scrambling to secure non-Russian supplies since Moscow invaded Ukraine. Gazprom PJSC cut pipeline flows last week, highlighting the continent’s vulnerability and raising the specter of fuel rationing. Prices in Europe jumped 43% last week.

Once the additional gas is on the way, Qatar expects to send more cargoes to Europe. About 80% of Qatari LNG currently goes to Asia, but the proportion shipped to Europe will rise to 40%-50%, according to QatarEnergy CEO Al-Kaabi.


The Rwandan president criticizes his Congolese counterpart (June 20)

Rwandan Paul Kagame has accused Democratic Republic of Congo President Felix Tshisekedi of ignoring “real issues” threatening relations between neighbors as fears mount of another war in the Great Lakes region.

In recent weeks, the two have blamed each other for stoking the conflict. Tshisekedi said Kagame supported the rebels against his government. Rwanda denies the allegation and has warned Congo against firing on its territory under the guise of pursuing insurgents.

“Making these accusations is simply running away from his responsibilities as president of this country,” Kagame said in an interview with the Qatar Economic Forum. He was referring to an inability to deal with militant groups in eastern Congo, a threat that successive Congolese administrations and the United Nations have failed to combat for two decades.

–With help from Lin Noueihed, Fiona MacDonald, Paul Wallace, David Malingha, Verity Ratcliffe, Simone Foxman, Anthony Di Paola, Ishika Mookerjee, Abeer Abu Omar, Helena Bedwell, Tony Halpin, Peter Vercoe, Flavia Krause-Jackson, Dana Hull, Phoebe Sedgman and Vlad Savov.

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