Gulf Oil

There are very few things on which economists overwhelmingly agree: free trade and apple pie are about it. But almost all of them will say that across-the-board subsidies for households and companies to lower the price of fuel are a terrible idea.

While advanced economies in general tax fossil fuels – or the carbon emissions that emanate from its use – emerging markets are still big users of subsidies and price caps. The IMF estimates that consumption of petroleum, electricity, natural gas and coal were subsidised by about 2 per cent of total government revenue in 2011 – and much more if compared to a hypothetical efficient tax system. Hydrocarbon exporters accounted for about two-thirds of the total. The subsidy of fossil fuels by oil producers and particularly within the Middle East and North Africa is extreme.  Read more

Shares in Gulf Oil, the lubricants business of the Mumbai-based Hinduja Group, rose 2.5 per cent on Friday as the company announced the completion of its $1.05bn acquisition of Houghton Oil, the US industrial fluids manufacturer.

It’s set to be the largest acquisition this year by a non-state Indian company, though it is dwarfed by the proposed $5bn deal made public last month, in which ONGC, the Indian state oil group, is buying a stake in Kazakhstan’s Kashagan oil field. Read more