137th Meeting of the OPEC Conference

No 17/2005
Vienna, Austria
20 Sep 2005

The 137th Meeting of the Conference of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) convened in Vienna, Austria, on 19 and 20 September 2005, under the Chairmanship of its President, HE Sheikh Ahmad Fahad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, Minister of Energy of the State of Kuwait and Head of its Delegation, and its Alternate President, HE Dr. Edmund Maduabebe Daukoru, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources of Nigeria and Head of its Delegation.

The Conference welcomed HE Seyed Kazem Vaziri Hamaneh, Acting Minister of Petroleum of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and paid tribute to the outstanding contribution made to the Organization by the former Iranian Minister of Petroleum, HE Bijan Namdar Zangeneh.

The Conference extended its condolences to the Government and people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on the sad death of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Fahd Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud.

The Conference also extended its sincere condolences and sympathy to the Government and the people of Iraq on the recent, tragic incidents that have led to such loss of life and expressed its hope that Iraq will be spared further violence in the future.

The Conference also repeated its condolences to the people and government of the United States of America following the devastation wreaked by Hurricane Katrina in late August and noted, with satisfaction, that humanitarian aid and pledges of fuel supplies by Member Countries had contributed to relieving the situation in affected regions.

The Conference warmly welcomed the Minister of Petroleum of Angola, the Minister of Energy & Mining of Sudan, the Minister of Petroleum & Mineral Resources of Syria, the Vice Minister of Industry & Energy of the Russian Federation, the First Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Petroleum of Egypt, the Under-Secretary for Hydrocarbons of Mexico and the Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman, and recorded the importance it accords to continued dialogue and consultations with fellow oil-producing nations in achieving stability in the oil market.

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 Vaziri Hamaneh, 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.

Having reviewed the current oil market, the Conference noted that action taken by OPEC Member Countries to increase production over the preceding quarters - OPEC production being currently estimated at 30.2 mb/d (excluding Iraq 28.3 mb/d) – has led to a build-up in inventory levels, especially of crude, which now stand well above their five-year average, sufficient to ease concerns in the market about potential supply disruptions, such as those witnessed following Hurricane Katrina. The Conference further noted that Member Countries are implementing costly investment plans to accelerate the expansion of crude production capacity from about 32.5 mb/d to at least 38 mb/d by 2010, to meet future demand growth.

Acknowledging that, although growth in crude oil supply in recent years has continued to be ahead of growth in demand, and that commercial oil stocks, in particular of crude, are at comfortable levels, oil prices have nevertheless continued to rise, mainly on account of tightness in downstream capacity and concerns over availability of adequate future supplies leading to increasing activity in futures markets, the Conference reiterated that the Organization will continue its proactive policy of supporting market stability by ensuring availability of adequate supply, at prices reasonable to both producers and consumers.

Towards this end, and recognizing the importance of maintaining oil market stability, for the benefit of the world economy, including, in particular, the economies of the developing world, the Conference agreed to make available to the market the spare capacity of around 2mb/d in Member Countries, should it be called for, for a period of three months, starting 1 October 2005. The Conference further decided to review market developments at its 138th (Extraordinary) Meeting, to be held in Kuwait on 12 December 2005, and take decisions as deemed appropriate and necessary.

The Conference again acknowledged the important role of non-OPEC producers in the global oil industry, and repeated its call on non-OPEC oil producers to continue actively co-operating with OPEC in maintaining price and market stability. Similarly, the Conference again called on all parties concerned to join these efforts to maintain market stability, with reasonable prices consistent with robust economic growth, as well as steady revenue streams, for producing countries and the industry, conducive to the expansion of upstream and downstream capacity to meet rising international demand for oil and products.

Further, the Conference noted that, whilst assurances from OPEC of its commitment to meet supply shortfalls and its readiness to offer additional supplies to the market, should these be called for, as well as emergency response action taken by International Energy Agency (IEA) Member Countries to release petroleum stocks to overcome temporary refinery shutdowns in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, had provided welcome relief, the continuing shortage of appropriate refining capacity remains one of the main reasons behind recent oil price increases and price volatility. Applauding the growing recognition by consumer country governments of the serious refining capacity constraints, which could pose a threat to future market stability in the next few years, the Conference repeated its call on industry and consumer governments to urgently address the pressing issue of refining shortages and to take prompt action to facilitate and speed up refinery capacity expansion. OPEC Member Countries have taken the initiative – on their own and in partnership with others – to pursue and invest in downstream projects, but this remains the primary responsibility of the main consuming countries, and, without appropriate and timely measures on their part, volatility is likely to remain a feature of the market for some time.

The Conference welcomed recent actions taken by consuming countries to ease the burden of higher fuel prices on the final consumer. In this connection, the Conference also welcomed the continuation of consultations between OPEC and the IEA and noted the increasing effectiveness of the International Energy Forum (IEF) as a platform for global dialogue, as well as its leading role as overall coordinator of the important international joint oil data initiative (JODI), supported by six international organizations, including OPEC. In this context, the Conference reiterated its satisfaction with the on-going OPEC/EU Dialogue, and recorded its readiness to enter into similar dialogues with other regional and international bodies – dialogue which must address all the issues of interest to all parties – the Organization remaining committed to so enhancing and strengthening co-operative relations between producers and consumers.

The Conference elected HE Dr Edmund Maduabebe Daukoru, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources of Nigeria and Head of its Delegation, as President of the Conference for one year, with effect from 1 January 2006, and HE Mohamed Bin Dhaen Al Hamli, Minister of Energy of the United Arab Emirates and Head of its Delegation, as Alternate President, for the same period.

The Conference appointed Dr. Maizar Rahman, Governor for Indonesia, as Chairman of the Board of Governors for the year 2006, and Mr. Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, Governor for the Islamic Republic of Iran, as Alternate Chairman for the same period, with effect from 1 January 2006.

The Conference reviewed the report from the Deputy Ministers on Long-Term Strategy and decided to adopt the proposed long-term strategy. The Conference recorded the Organization’s particular thanks to HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Chairman of the Meetings of the Deputy Ministers of Petroleum/Energy on Long-Term Strategy; HE Dr. Bernard Mommer, Vice-Chairman; all Heads and Members of Delegations to these Meetings; as well as the Staff of the Secretariat involved, for the outstanding work they had performed in drawing up a comprehensive long-term strategy for the Organization.

The Conference decided that its next Ordinary Meeting will convene in Vienna, Austria, on 8 March 2006.

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. In addition, the Conference recorded its particular thanks to the Mayor and authorities of the City of Vienna for the organization of events to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the OPEC Secretariat’s move to Vienna.

Finally, the Conference passed Resolutions that will be published on 20 October 2005, after ratification by Member Countries.

Production Levels

Production Allocations

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