140th Meeting of the OPEC Conference

No 6/2006
Vienna, Austria
08 Mar 2006

The 140th (Ordinary) Meeting of the Conference of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) convened in Vienna, Austria, on 8 March 2006, under the Chairmanship of its President, HE Dr. Edmund Daukoru, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources of Nigeria and Head of its Delegation, and its Alternate President, HE Mohamed Bin Dhaen Al Hamli, Minister of Energy of the United Arab Emirates and Head of its Delegation.

The Conference congratulated HE Sheikh Ahmad Fahad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah on his re-appointment as Minister of Energy of the State of Kuwait, and extended a warm welcome to HE Abdalla Salem El Badri as Head of Delegation of the Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya to the 140th Meeting of the Conference.

The Conference also welcomed the Minister of Petroleum of Angola, the Minister of Petroleum of Egypt, the Minister of Oil and Gas of the Sultanate of Oman and a high-level representative from Mexico, whose presence at the Meeting is seen as reaffirmation of these oil-producing countries’ continued support for the Organization’s efforts to stabilize the oil market.

The Conference reviewed the Secretary General's report, the report of the Economic Commission Board, the report of the Ministerial Monitoring Sub-Committee (MMSC) - whose Members the Conference thanked for their continued efforts on OPEC’s behalf - and various administrative matters.

Having reviewed the oil market outlook, the Conference observed that world economic performance remains strong. The Conference also noted that, although all indicators show that the market is fundamentally well-supplied with crude oil and that commercial oil stocks in the OECD are at high levels, world crude oil prices remain volatile, these being driven by geopolitical factors and associated concerns regarding potential future supply disruptions, as well as downstream bottlenecks, exacerbated by more stringent US fuel quality standards. These factors are reflected in the increased activity observed in the futures market and the pattern of disconnect between prices and commercial stock levels, that has become apparent since 2004.

Despite the present supply/demand outlook and in view of the prevailing geopolitical concerns, the Conference decided to maintain the current OPEC production ceiling of 28.0 million barrels per day for the time being, in order to contribute further to market stability and robust global economic growth, as well as maintain prices at levels reasonable to both producers and consumers. In taking this decision, the Conference again confirmed the Organization’s commitment to continuing to play its role in maintaining stability and ensuring that global markets remain adequately supplied at all times.

In view of the importance of continued vigilance, given the possible risks and uncertainties, including expected stock-build, the Conference further agreed to continue to closely monitor market developments and to take appropriate and swift action, as and when the need arises. For this purpose, the President of the Conference will consult closely with other Heads of Delegation, keeping them apprised of market developments. The Conference will convene an Extraordinary Meeting in Venezuela on Thursday, 1 June 2006.

The Conference renewed its call on all parties, including non-OPEC producers and consumers, to undertake joint efforts to address the challenges facing the oil industry, including bottlenecks affecting the downstream oil industry.

The Conference recorded its special thanks and appreciation to Dr. Adnan Shihab-Eldin for his valuable contribution to the Organization during his tenure as Director, Research Division.

The Conference passed Resolutions that will be published on 8 April 2006, after ratification by Member Countries.

The Conference decided that its next Ordinary Meeting will be convened in Vienna, Austria, on 11 September 2006, immediately preceding the 2006 OPEC International Seminar.

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.