139th (Extraordinary) Meeting of the OPEC Conference

No 3/2006
Vienna, Austria
31 Jan 2006

The 139th (Extraordinary) Meeting of the Conference of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) convened in Vienna, Austria, on 31 January 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 extended its condolences to the Government and people of the State of Kuwait on the sad demise of His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Emir of Kuwait.

The Conference also extended its condolences to the Government and people of the United Arab Emirates on the passing away of His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, and Ruler of Dubai.

The Conference considered the report of the 57th Meeting of the Ministerial Monitoring Sub-Committee (MMSC), held on 30 January 2006, and again voiced its thanks to the Members of the Sub-Committee for their constant efforts on the Organization’s behalf.

The Conference further reviewed the oil market outlook, including the overall demand/supply expectations for the year 2006, in particular the first and second quarters, and observed that market fundamentals have remained in balance since its last Meeting, in Kuwait in December 2005, with comfortable stock levels. It also observed that the world economic performance continues to be resilient.

The Conference also noted that, although the market is well supplied with crude oil, and commercial oil stock levels in the OECD remain healthy, prices have continued to rise. This, however, is primarily a result of refining bottlenecks and other non-fundamental factors. Furthermore, the Conference observed that forecasts for supply and demand in recent years have tended to underestimate the requirements for OPEC oil, especially in the second quarter.

Recalling that OPEC is committed to continuing to play its role in maintaining a supply level conducive to economic growth, the Conference expressed its concern about the high degree of price volatility, and the impact this may have on the global economy, in particular for developing countries.

Consequently, the Conference decided to maintain the current OPEC-10 production level of 28.0 mb/d, as agreed during the 136th Meeting of the Conference in June 2005. At the same time, however, it called upon the Secretariat to continue exercising vigilance in monitoring the market, in view of the potential risks and uncertainties identified.

The Conference reconfirmed that its next Ordinary Meeting will be held on 8 March 2006, in Vienna, Austria.

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.