LAGOS — Effective from January 1, 2014, Nigeria’s Minister of Petroleum Resources, and Head of Delegation, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, becomes the Alternate President for the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, for the next one year.
Her appointment follows the election of Libya’s Minister of Oil and Gas, Dr Abdel Bari Ali Al-Arousi, as President of the Conference of OPEC for the same period of time.
The conference, during its last meeting for the year in Vienna, Austria, last week, reviewed the oil market outlook, as presented by the Secretary General. Of particular focus were supply/demand projections for 2014 as well the global economic outlook.
The conference also noted the high sovereign debt in the Euro-zone; high unemployment in the advanced economies, especially the Euro-zone; and slow growth, coupled with inflation risk, in the emerging economies.
The organisation concluded that the biggest challenge facing global oil markets in 2014, is the global economic uncertainty, with the fragility of the Euro-zone remaining a cause for concern. It was also noted that, although world oil demand is forecast to increase during 2014, this will be more than offset by the projected increase in non-OPEC supply.
However, in the interest of maintaining market equilibrium, the conference decided to maintain the current production level of 30.0 million barrels a day.
“In taking this decision, member countries re-confirmed their readiness to swiftly respond to developments which could have an adverse impact on the maintenance of an orderly and balanced oil market,” it said.
Agreeing on the need to be vigilant, given the uncertainties arising from the enduring weaknesses in the world economy, the conference directed the secretariat to continue its close monitoring of developments in supply and demand, as well as non-fundamental factors such as speculative activity, keeping member countries well informed of developments.
Aside from the earlier appointments, the Conference also appointed Dr Ali Obaid Al Yabhouni, the United Arab Emirates’ Governor for OPEC, as Chairman of the Board of Governors for the year 2014; and Dr Bernard Mommer, Venezuelan Governor for OPEC, as Alternate Chairman for the same period, with effect from January 1, 2014.
The Conference also decided to extend the tenure of HE Abdalla S. El-Badri, as Secretary General for a period of one year, with effect from 1 January 2014.
It approved the Budget of the Organisation for 2014, and also congratulated Mr. Bijan Namdar Zangeneh, and Mustafa J.M. Al-Shamali, on their appointments as Minister of Petroleum of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and Minister of Oil of the State of Kuwait, respectively. It equally thanked their predecessors, Mr. Rostam Ghasemi of Iran, and HE Hani Abdulaziz Hussain of Kuwait, for their contributions to the work of the Organisation.