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Oil, energy ministers of OPEC countries to hold 169th meeting of cartel

June 01, 9:03 UTC+3 VIENNA
The main outcome of the meeting, to be held in Vienna on June 2, should be the election of a new secretary general of the cartel
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© EPA/BARBARA GINDL AUSTRIA OUT

VIENNA, June 1. /TASS/. The next 169th meeting of oil and energy ministers of the countries - members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will be held in Vienna on June 2, 2016.

As expected, the main outcome of the meeting should be the election of a new secretary general of the cartel.

Earlier media name several people among the likely candidates for the post - the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources of Indonesia Sudirman Sai, Nigeria's Mohammed Barkindo, a former head of state oil firm NNPC and the representative of Venezuela’s former energy minister, Ali Rodriguez.

The current Secretary General of OPEC Abdalla Salem el-Badri was supposed to retire in 2013, but stayed, as members of the organization have not been able to elect a new leader. His terms are to expire on July 1, 2016.

It is also possible that the members could decide on including the new - 14th participant to the cartel. In October 2015, Sudan applied for the membership in the organization.

In addition, according to media reports, membership of Gabon could also be considered - the country has already been part of the organization in 1975-1994.

In general, market participants do not expect important decisions from the forthcoming meeting, including the change in oil production quotas.

On April 17, representatives of 18 oil-producing nations met in Doha, Qatar to discuss freezing oil production cap, but failed to reach agreement.

According to Minister of Energy and Industry of Qatar Mohammed Saleh Abdulla Al Sada, the countries’ representatives discussed several mechanisms of freezing oil production and decided that more time was needed. At the same time the 19th participant in the talks - Iran - on the eve of the meeting refused to discuss freezing oil production, explaining that by the recent lifting of the sanctions.

On February 16, in Doha, Qatar, oil ministers of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Venezuela, members of OPEC, and Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak held talks on improvement of the situation with oil prices. The parties expressed readiness to maintain oil production on the level of January of 2016, if other oil producing countries join this initiative.

According to some analysts, the results of the upcoming meeting will be dictated by the interests of Saudi Arabia - the June summit could end up the same as the December - with criticism of the position of Saudi Arabia from Iran and Venezuela.

OPEC includes 13 members - oil exporter countries - Angola, Venezuela, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, and Ecuador. Cartel members control about 70% of world oil reserves, they account for one third of world production.

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