The 164th Meeting of the Conference of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, has drawn to a close with the organisation retaining output levels at 30 million barrels per day, mb/d.
At the meeting which was chaired by President of the organisation, Mustafa Jassim Mohammad Al-Shamali, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Oil of the State of Kuwait and Head of its Delegation member countries noted that the decision to retain current output levels was informed by the need to market equilibrium.
Member Countries also 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.
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.
The Conference 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 1 January 2014.
The Conference 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.
The Conference approved the Budget of the Organization for the year 2014.
The Conference decided that its next Ordinary Meeting will convene in Vienna, Austria, on Wednesday, 11 June 2014.
The Conference congratulated HE Eng Bijan Namdar Zangeneh and HE 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, and thanked their predecessors in office, HE Eng Rostam Ghasemi of Iran and HE Hani Abdulaziz Hussain of Kuwait for their contributions to the work of the Organization.
The Conference elected HE Dr Abdel Bari Ali Al-Arousi, Minister of Oil and Gas of Libya, as President of the Conference for one year, with effect from 1 January 2014, and HE Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke CON, Minister of Petroleum Resources of Nigeria and Head of its Delegation, as Alternate President for the same period.
The Conference reviewed the Secretary General’s report, the report of the Economic Commission Board (ECB) and a number of administrative matters. The Conference also exchanged views on developments in multilateral environment negotiations, including: the outcome of COP19/CMP9 held in Warsaw, Poland, in November; the status of the Organization’s ongoing energy dialogue with the European Union (EU); its continued cooperative work with various other international organizations for the G-20; and its energy dialogue with the Russian Federation.
The Conference also considered the global economic outlook, again noting: 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. Indeed, the biggest challenge facing global oil markets in 2014 is this 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 the year 2014, this will be more than offset by the projected increase in non-OPEC supply.
The Conference also reiterated its appreciation to the Government and people of the Republic of Austria, as well as the authorities of the City of Vienna, for their warm hospitality and the excellent arrangements made for the Meeting.