A special date for Nigeria

OPEC Bulletin Commentary November-December 2006

At the OPEC Secretariat, there never seems to be a dull moment. We move from one major event to the next, each with the potential of making a huge impact on our Member Countries and the world at large.

The weeks after the September Ministerial Conference in Vienna were indeed quite interesting. Speculation was rife as to what OPEC would do as the price of crude oil continued to plunge as a result of many factors, chief among which was excess supply in the market. Will the Organization cut production? If so, by how many barrels per day?

After weeks of informal Ministerial consultation, Member Countries finally met in the Qatari capital Doha on October 19–20, where they agreed to take steps to align the market with the fundamentals of supply and demand.

With those decisions, we welcome you to the OPEC Bulletin for December, a month that, for Nigeria, the 11th Member of the Organization, is indeed special as it prepares to host the 143rd (Extraordinary) Meeting of the OPEC Conference.

Two things make this event special for Nigeria. First, it holds the Presidency of OPEC and, second, it is hosting the Meeting just for the second time in the 35 years it has been a Member of the Organization.

That is why our focus in this edition is on Nigeria, a country that has fascinated many people over the years and is rightly called the ‘Giant of Africa’.

We have dug up a lot of information on the country, its people and why it now sees itself as no longer just the ‘Giant of Africa’, but also, the ‘Heart of Africa’.

But before Abuja and Doha, there was Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where the First International Conference on the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) took place. This was followed by the equally as important OPEC-EU Roundtable on Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS).

Both topical issues attracted a high level of OPEC representation and are comprehensively covered in the Bulletin.

At OPEC, the thinking is futuristic. The concern is not just about having oil for here and now, but how to make sure that the resource is well managed and continues to be available to meet the ever-increasing need for cleaner and affordable energy supplies, especially for the developing countries, in the challenging years ahead.

This underscores the importance the Organization attaches to research and development issues.

And so for three days (October 31–November 2) Research and Development Institutions from Member Countries met in Isla Margarita, Venezuela for their 2nd Annual Meeting. What did they discuss? Who was there, and who was represented? Find out as you flip through the publication.

Also in this edition is an interview with Ivan Orellana, Venezuelan Governor for OPEC, and coverage of the Annual Oil and Money Conference in London, where Dr Shokri Ghanem, Chairman of the People’s Committee, the National Oil Corporation (NOC), of Libya, gave a keynote address and was also conferred with the Petroleum Executive of the Year award. We then have comments from Mohammed Barkindo, Acting for the OPEC Secretary General, and Kofi Annan, the outgoing Secretary-General of the United Nations, concerning climate change. These are followed by the usual spotlight on our sister Organization, the OPEC Fund, and finally the Market Review.

As you read through, one thing is certain — in this latest edition, we have ensured that you have stories and reports that are interesting enough to keep you occupied during the Christmas and New Year celebrations. We’ll see you in 2007.

Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year to all our readers!

This Commentary is taken from the November-December 2006 edition of the OPEC Bulletin, which can be downloaded free of charge in PDF format from the OPEC website.

OPEC Bulletin (November-December 2006)

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