Published On: Tue, Jan 18th, 2011

OPEC Secretary General comments on recent oil market developments

Vienna, 18 Jan. 2011–”Oil prices have recently been driven by technical matters such as events in Alaska and the North Sea. Also, the weak dollar and speculation have added to this, pushing oil prices higher, especially Brent.

Any assumption that there is tightness in the market, however, is incorrect. In reality, commercial stocks remain well above the five-year average and forward covers stands at around 60 days. OPEC Member Countries are also holding more than six million barrels per day of spare capacity. At the moment, fundamentals show there is more than enough oil on the market.

Oil demand is improving; something that we welcome. This also indicates that the global economy is recovering – good news for us all.

OPEC, as always, is watching the market carefully. We remain committed to oil market stability. If there is a need for us to act, we will do so.

Supplying the world’s media with unrealistic assumptions and forecasts will serve only to confuse matters and create unnecessary fear in the markets. Ultimately, this is adding to volatility in the oil market and destroying the stability that OPEC works so hard to support.

The IEA must be consistent in their remarks. Either they prefer a high oil price, as indicated in their new policies scenarios, which they claim would curb oil consumption or a lower oil price, which they claim would support economic growth.

In 2009, when the oil price was lower, the IEA had advised its members that they needed to increase petroleum taxes. So why, today, when they are complaining that oil prices are too high, are they not advising their members to reduce taxes? “

Secretary General

The Secretary General is the legally authorized representative of the Organization and Chief Executive of the Secretariat. In this capacity, he administers the affairs of the Organization in accordance with the directions of the Board of Governors.

The Conference appoints the Secretary General for a period of three years, which may be renewed once for the same period. This appointment takes place upon nomination by Member Countries.

The Secretary General is assisted in the discharge of his duties by a team of officers and staff including two Directors responsible for the Research Division and Support Services Division, six Heads of Department, the General Legal Counsel, Head of the Office of the Secretary General and the Internal Auditor.


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