NIGERIA: Alison-Madueke’s OPEC Bid Suffers Setback

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 Member countries of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) have decided to extend the tenure of the incumbent secretary general of the oil cartel, Abdullah al-Badri, by six months, thus putting the bid by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Deizani Alison-Madueke, to replace him in abeyance.

The 12-member body disclosed this in a communiqué it issued at the end of its meeting in Vienna, Austria, yesterday.

OPEC also agreed to maintain its oil production ceiling of 30 million barrels a day for the second half of 2014.

The federal government had nominated Alison-Madueke to succeed the long-serving al-Badri to break the deadlock over the post created by opposing candidates from Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Had the cartel not extended al-Badri’s tenure and Alison-Madueke got the backing of most member countries to succeed him, she would have been required to step down from the federal cabinet by December.

In the communiqué, the oil ministers expressed satisfaction with oil prices of around $110 a barrel for Brent crude, which is above the organisation’s preferred price of $100 a barrel.

The oil ministers had reviewed recent oil market developments and world economic growth, in particular supply/demand projections for the second half of the year, as well as the outlook for 2015 and noted that the relative steadiness of prices during 2014 to date was an indication that the market is adequately supplied, with the periodic price fluctuations being more a reflection of geopolitical tensions than a response to fundamentals.

OPEC, however, observed that whilst world economic growth was projected to reach 3.4 per cent in 2014, up from 2.9 per cent in 2013, downside risks to the global economy, both in the OECD and non-OECD regions, remained unchecked.

The OPEC member countries noted that whilst world oil demand was expected to rise from 90.0 mbpd in 2013 to 91.1 mbpd in 2014, non-OPEC supply was projected to grow by 1.4 mbpd, with OECD stock levels, in terms of days of forward demand cover, remaining comfortable.

“In the light of the foregoing, the conference again decided that member countries should adhere to the existing production level of 30.0 mbpd. In taking this decision, the conference unanimously agreed that member countries would, if required, take steps to ensure market balance which is so important to world economic activity.

“Member countries in turn reiterated their willingness to firmly respond to developments that might jeopardise oil market stability,” the communiqué stated.
OPEC’s next ordinary meeting will hold in Vienna, Austria, on November 27, 2014.

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