Deputy EIC, Commodities & Energy, Asia, Singapore
Simon's Feed
Sep 9, 2009
via Commodity Corner

Running after oil in Ramadan

Photo

The Muslim holy month of Ramadan has disrupted one of the wackier tasks for OPEC reporters: running around Vienna’s beautiful inner ring road with Saudi Arabia’s Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi, who likes to keep himself and the press corp fit. He often uses the 45 minute walk-cum-jog to give media a background briefing of his view on the oil market as he and the bizarre group of security, aides and reporters trot past the city’s stunning palaces and bemused Viennese on their way to work (or home from a night’s revelling).
(Photo: al-Naimi with journalists in Cairo, 28 Nov 2008/Amr Dalsh)

The daylight fast for Muslim delegates and ministers means that most meetings are taking place late at night, making an early morning run less practical. Naimi ran on Tuesday afternoon, accompanied only by security. He didn’t go at all on Wednesday morning, much to the chagrin of the reporters on the early shift. The run is sometimes the only chance for media to get Naimi’s insight. It is a blessing and a curse for reporters on the beat, who have to be up at the crack of dawn to take part but are often rewarded with the biggest oil story of the day. Maybe Naimi figures this time there’s no need for a background briefing. With the oil price where it is, he seems relaxed enough to put it all on the record.

    • About Simon

      "I am the deputy editor for commodities and energy news in Asia. I help drive our coverage throughout the region from the Singapore C&E desk. Until mid-2010, I was the Senior Energy Correspondent in the Middle East, based in Dubai. I have also covered oil markets for Reuters in London."
      Hometown:
      Bristol
      Joined Reuters:
      2004
      Languages:
      English, Spanish
      Awards:
      Reuters C&E Journalist of the Year 2009
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