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OPEC calls for stronger financial regulation

By Clara Nwachukwu, Vienna, Austria
The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, has called for better regulation of the international financial sector.

This, the organisation hopes, will contain current price volatility being experienced in the international oil market.

The call was made by the President of the conference, Mr. Abdul-Kareem Luaibi Bahedh, in an opening address presented at the 161st meeting of the OPEC Conference, yesterday, at the organisation’s Secretariat in Vienna, Austria.

Bahedh, who is also the Iraqi Minister of Oil, said oil price volatility had become a matter of great concern for OPEC, adding: “There is still a disturbing level of price volatility … This volatility is matter of much concern to us.”

The conference president observed that in the recent time, oil price had become “extremely volatile,” so much that the OPEC Basket price lost $9.65/barrel within just four days.

Before now, he recalled that the OPEC reference basket has been experiencing some price swings, moving from $109/b as at the time of its last meeting to $124/b half way through to June and then falling again.

Consequently, OPEC has repeated the call “for better regulation of the international financial sector,” while it struggles to stabilise prices.

The OPEC conference president argued that it was the collective responsibility of all industry stakeholders to achieve price stability, particularly the industry operators, associated partners as well as the financial institutions.

He opined: “We all stand to benefit from price stability, and so, we must all be prepared to contribute to it in a meaningful, solid and sustainable manner.”

Current production output

Meanwhile, the leader of the Nigerian delegation to the conference, Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, told Vanguard before the start of the meeting that delegates might retain current production output at 30 million barrels per day.

She also said the conference might likely take a decision on who succeeds the outgoing Secretary General, Mr. Abdalla Salem El Badri, whose tenure ends at year end, adding: “We are going to look at all the candidates for the job and decide on the most qualified.”

OPEC maintains output level

Meanwhile, after almost six hours of deliberation on market and economic issues, OPEC, yesterday, maintained current output level at 30 million barrels per day.

The 14-member organisation attributed current oil price volatility to “geopolitical tensions and increased levels of speculation in the commodities markets, rather than solely a consequence of supply/demand fundamentals.”

Although OPEC envisioned a slight increase in global oil demand in the second half of the year, it is, however convinced that this would be “mostly offset by the projected increase in non-OPEC supply.”




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