By Michael Eboh
Former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Dr. Mohammed Barkindo, was yesterday, appointed Secretary General of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
According to a statement by OPEC, after the 169th Meeting of the Conference, Barkindo’s appointment would take effect from August 1, 2016, and he is expected to serve for a period of three years.
Barkindo is to take over from Abdalla Salem El-Badri, who held the position for over nine years. El-Badri was supposed to leave at the end of 2012, but his tenure was extended due to the fact that member countries of OPEC could not reach a consensus on his replacement. OPEC members commended El-Badri for his leadership of the Secretariat and the Organisation during his tenure as Secretary General.
In addition, the conference stated that global crude oil production had dropped by over one million barrel per day, from its peak at the beginning of 2015, while it projected a further decline of 740,000 barrels per day by 2016.
According to the conference, global demand is anticipated to expand by 1.2 million barrels per day, after growing at 1.5 million barrels per day during 2015.
This demand growth, OPEC noted, remains relatively healthy considering recent economic challenges and developments.
It said, “The Conference observed that, since its last meeting in December 2015, crude oil prices have risen by more than 80 per cent, supply and demand is converging and oil and product stock levels in the OECD have recently shown relative moderation.
“This is testament to the fact that the market is moving through the balancing process. The latest numbers, however, still show OECD and non-OECD inventories standing well above the five-year average and these need to be drawn down to normal levels.
“The Conference also noted the very low investment level currently prevailing in the oil industry and emphasized the need to increase upstream investment in order to achieve long-term balance in the oil markets.”
Furthermore, the OPEC conference re-emphasized the coordination between Member Countries and with non-OPEC producers to ensure market stability in the global oil market; to obtain reasonable and sustainable revenue for oil-producing nations; and to provide a stable, reliable, efficient and economic supply to consuming countries and a fair return to investors in the oil industry.
Continuing, the statement reads, “Member countries, in agreeing to this decision, confirmed their commitment to a stable and balanced oil market, with prices at levels that are suitable for both producers and consumers.
“While emphasizing its commitment to ensuring a long-term stable and balanced oil market for both producers and consumers, the Conference stressed that, given the current market conditions, the Secretariat should continue to closely monitor developments in the coming months.”