Diezani Alison-Madueke, Nigeria’s minister of petroleum resources, assumes the alternate presidency of the Organisation of Oil Exporting Countries for one year in 2014
| By Anayo Ezugwu | Dec. 23, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT
THE Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, has elected Diezani Alison-Madueke, Nigeria’s minister of petroleum resources, as the alternate president of the international body for one year. The election was at the 164th meeting of organisation in Vienna, Austria. Alison-Madueke is the first woman minister to represent any country and the first to attain such a posintion since OPEC was established more than 50 years ago. A statement posted on OPEC’s website also announced the election of Abdel Bari Ali Al-Arousi, Libya’s minister of oil and gas, as alternate president of the conference for the same period.
The 164th conference of the OPEC held under the chairmanship of Mustafa Jassim Mohammad Al-Shamali, deputy prime minister and minister of oil of the state of Kuwait and head of its delegation, congratulated Bijan Namdar Zangeneh and 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 thanked their predecessors in office, Rostam Ghasemi of Iran and Hani Abdulaziz Hussain of Kuwait for their contributions to the work of the organisation.
The conference appointed Ali Obaid Al Yabhouni, of the United Arab Emirates’ governor for OPEC, as chairman of the Board of Governors for the year 2014, and Bernard Mommer, Venezuelan Governor for OPEC, as alternate chairman for the same period. The Conference decided to extend the tenure of Abdalla S. El-Badri as secretary general for a period of one year.
The conference reviewed the secretary general’s report, the report of the Economic Commission Board, ECB, and a number of administrative matters. It 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 reviewed the oil market outlook, as presented by the secretary general, in particular the supply/demand projections for 2014. 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.
Nevertheless, 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 agreed on the need to be vigilant, given the uncertainties arising from the enduring weaknesses in the world economy. To this end, 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 approved the budget of the organisation for the year 2014. It decided that its next ordinary meeting would convene in Vienna, Austria, on Wednesday, June 11, 2014. The conference 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.