154th (Ordinary) Meeting of the OPEC Conference

No 9/2009
Vienna, Austria
10 Sep 2009

The 154th Meeting of the Conference of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) convened in Vienna, Austria, on 9th and 10th September 2009, under the Chairmanship of its President, HE Eng. José Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos, Minister of Petroleum of Angola and Head of its Delegation, and its Alternate President, HE Germánico Pinto, Minister of Mines & Petroleum of Ecuador and Head of its Delegation.

The Conference congratulated HE Germánico Pinto on his appointment as Minister of Mines & Petroleum of Ecuador and Head of its Delegation, and HE Masoud Mir-Kazemi on his appointment as Minister of Petroleum of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Head of its Delegation, recording its appreciation of the services rendered to the Organization by their predecessors in office, HE Derlis Palacios Guerrero of Ecuador and HE Gholamhossein Nozari of Iran, particularly thanking HE Nozari for his Chairmanship of the Ministerial Monitoring Sub-Committee (MMSC) in recent years.

The Conference considered the Secretary General's report; the report of the Economic Commission Board; the report of the Ministerial Monitoring Sub-Committee (MMSC), chaired by HE Masoud Mir-Kazemi, Head of the Delegation of the Islamic Republic of Iran, whose Members the Conference again thanked for their continued efforts on the Organization’s behalf; and various administrative matters. The Conference exchanged views on, inter alia, recent multilateral developments on environment matters, in particular preparations for the forthcoming 15th Session of the Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC, which will take place in Copenhagen in December 2009, and the outcome of the 6th Ministerial Meeting of the EU-OPEC Energy Dialogue. The Conference also listened to a brief on activities planned for 2010 to mark the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the Organization.

The Conference reviewed current oil market conditions and future prospects and observed that, whilst there are signs that economic recovery is underway, there remains great concern about the magnitude and pace of this recovery, especially in the major industrialized nations of the OECD. There has been some easing of the overhang in crude oil stocks but market fundamentals remain weak, refinery utilization rates are low and product inventories have risen considerably.

Accordingly, since the market remains over-supplied and given the downside risks associated with the extremely fragile recovery, the Conference once again agreed to leave current production levels unchanged for the time being. In doing so, the Conference reiterated its determination to ensure sound supply fundamentals and an adequate level of spare capacity for the benefit of the world at large. Similarly, the Conference recorded the readiness of Member Countries to rapidly respond to any developments which might jeopardize oil market stability and their interests. Therefore, in addition to continuing to maintain constant watch over supply/demand fundamentals, the Conference agreed to reassess the market situation at its 155th (Extraordinary) Meeting, to be held in Luanda, Angola, on 22nd December 2009.

The Conference elected HE Germánico Pinto, Minister of Mines & Petroleum of Ecuador and Head of its Delegation, as President of the Conference for one year, with effect from 1st January 2010, and HE Masoud Mir-Kazemi, Minister of Petroleum of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Head of its Delegation, as Alternate President, for the same period.

The Conference appointed Mr. Ahmed M. Elghaber, Governor for the Socialist Peoples Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, as Chairman of the Board of Governors for the year 2010, and Mr. Mohammed S. Barkindo, Governor for Nigeria, as Alternate Chairman for the same period, with effect from 1st January 2010.

The Conference decided that its next Ordinary Meeting will convene in Vienna, Austria, on 17th March 2010, preceded by the Ministerial Monitoring Sub-Committee on 16th March 2010.

The Conference expressed its appreciation to the Government of the Republic of Austria and the authorities of the City of Vienna for their warm hospitality and the excellent arrangements made for the Meeting.