Abuja – landmark Conference

OPEC Bulletin Commentary January 2007

Welcome to OPEC — the Government and citizens of the Republic of Angola!

Welcome back to Vienna, Abdalla Salem El-Badri, as OPEC Secretary General!

And welcome to the future, as we begin the build-up to the Third Summit of OPEC Heads of State and Government, to be held in Saudi Arabia later this year!

These expressions of welcome are the product of decisions reached at the 143rd (Extraordinary) Meeting of the Conference in Abuja, Nigeria, on December 14. They constitute, in turn, the culmination of extensive discussions at the highest levels during the course of the year under the direction of the Conference President, Dr Edmund Maduabebe Daukoru, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources.

Angola is the first new Member of our Organization in more than three decades. It extends OPEC’s reach to a more southerly latitude than ever before, embracing a south-central African state of rapidly rising oil production and prodigious economic transformation. Indeed, Angola has one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. It is thus well-suited to joining our existing Members in meeting the myriad challenges facing the industry in the years ahead.

And for El-Badri, who is the first formally appointed Secretary General for three years, he is already well-known to the Secretariat in Vienna. He was Head of Delegation of the Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya from 1990 to 2000, when he served in a Ministerial capacity as Secretary of, first, the People’s Committee for Petroleum and, secondly, the General People’s Committee for Energy. During the first of his two spells as Conference President, he assumed the responsibilities of Secretary General and so already has direct experience of this key post.

The importance of filling the post is underlined by the enhanced nature of the Secretary General’s responsibilities in an increasingly globalized, high-tech world where the challenges facing the oil industry are ever more complex and demanding. This, in turn, reflects the heightened role of OPEC on the world energy stage.

Such a role commands OPEC’s awareness of the need to keep moving with the times — hence the decision to hold the Summit of Heads of State and Government this year. As just the third summit in OPEC’s 47-year history, this will be an event of paramount importance. It will reaffirm OPEC’s commitment to its longstanding objectives and ensure that these are well-aligned to meet the unfolding challenges of the future, to the benefit of our esteemed Member Countries — they are, after all, the body and soul of our Organization! — and the world energy community at large.

In addition, the Conference undertook its latest round of market-stabilization measures. ‘Abuja 2006’ will thus be remembered as a landmark for the Organization.

It has given us plenty to build upon in 2007 and beyond. As ever, we maintain our unswerving resolve to do this.

This Commentary is taken from the January 2007 edition of the OPEC Bulletin, which can be downloaded free of charge in PDF format from the OPEC website.

OPEC Bulletin (January 2007)

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