OPEC 163rd Meeting concludes

No 2/2013
Vienna, Austria
31 May 2013

The 163rd Meeting of the Conference of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) convened in Vienna, Austria, on 31 May 2013, under the Chairmanship of its Alternate President, HE Dr Abdel Bari Ali Al-Arousi, Minister of Oil and Gas of Libya and Head of its Delegation.

The Conference congratulated HE Pedro Merizalde-Pavón, HE Mustafa Al-Shamali, and HE Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei on their appointments as Minister of Non-Renewable Natural Resources of Ecuador, Acting Minister of Oil of Kuwait, and Minister of Energy of the United Arab Emirates, respectively, and paid tribute to the services rendered to the Organization by their predecessors in office, HE Wilson Pástor-Morris, HE Hani Abdulaziz Hussain and HE Mohamed Bin Dhaen Al Hamli. 

The Conference considered the Secretary General's report, the report of the Economic Commission Board (ECB) and various administrative matters.  As customary, the Conference listened to presentations and exchanged views on a variety of topics, including: multilateral developments on environment matters; the Organization's energy dialogue with the European Union (EU); the outcome of continuing cooperation between OPEC, the International Energy Forum (IEF) and the International Energy Agency (IEA) in areas defined by the Cancun Declaration; and the status of collaborative work with the G-20.

The Conference reviewed recent oil market developments, as presented by the Secretary General, in particular supply/demand projections, as well as the outlook for the second half of 2013, noting that the relative steadiness of prices during 2013 to-date was an indication that the market was adequately supplied, the periodic price fluctuations being a reflection of geopolitical tensions.  The Conference observed, however, that, whilst world economic growth was projected to reach 3.2% in 2013, up from 3% in 2012, downside risks to the global economy, especially in the OECD region, remain unchecked.

The Conference noted, moreover, that, while world oil demand is expected to rise from 88.9 million barrels a day in 2012 to 89.7 mb/d in 2013, driven almost entirely by the non-OECD regions, non-OPEC supply is projected to grow by 1.0 mb/d, and that OECD stock levels remain comfortable.  Taking these developments into account, the second half of the year could see a further easing in fundamentals, despite seasonally-higher demand.

In light of the foregoing, the Conference again decided that Member Countries should adhere to the existing production ceiling of 30.0 mb/d.  Once more, the Conference agreed that Member Countries would, if required, take steps to ensure market balance and reasonable price levels for producers and consumers, and Member Countries reiterated their readiness to rapidly respond to developments that might place oil market stability in jeopardy.

The Conference decided that its next Ordinary Meeting will convene in Vienna, Austria, on Wednesday, 4 December 2013.

Finally, the Conference reiterated its expression of 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.