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Minister of Energy Elected OPEC Conference President for 2018
Att.Editors: The following item is from the Emirates News Agency (WAM)

VIENNA,Dec 2 (WAM) - Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, United Arab Emirates (UAE) Minister of Energy and Industry, has been elected as president of the OPEC Conference for one year, with effect from January 1, 2018.

This came during the 173rd meeting of the Conference of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) held here Thursday under the Chairmanship of its current President Khalid A. Al-Falih, Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources of Saudi Arabia.

Major General Manuel Quevedo, the Minister of Petroleum and Energy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, has been elected as alternate president, for the same period.

It's noteworthy that OPEC and non-OPEC producers agreed during the meeting to extend oil output cuts until the end of 2018. The deal to cut oil output by 1.8 million barrels a day was adopted by the 14-member OPEC cartel, Russia and nine other global producers.

The conference took note of oil market developments since it last met in Vienna on May 25, 2017 and reviewed the oil market outlook for the remainder of 2017 and 2018. It observed that global economic growth forecasts had improved since May, with expectations for both 2017 and 2018 now at 3.7 per cent. In addition, global oil demand has been robust with upward revisions since May, with oil demand growth now standing above 1.5 mbd for both 2017 and 2018.

It is also evident that the market rebalancing has gathered pace since May, with the OECD stock overhang falling to around 140 mb above the five-year average for October, a drop of almost 140 mb since May. Moreover, crude in floating storage has also fallen significantly over this period. Despite this success, the conference reiterated that it was vital that stock levels be drawn down to normal levels.

In view of the uncertainties associated mainly with supply and, to some extent, demand growth, it is intended that in June 2018, the opportunity for further adjustment actions will be considered based on prevailing market conditions and the progress achieved towards rebalancing of the oil market at that time.

In agreeing to this decision, member countries confirmed their continued focus on a stable and balanced oil market, in the interests of both producers and consumers. The members remain committed to being dependable and reliable suppliers of crude and products to global markets.

The conference thanked all OPEC Member Countries, as well as non-OPEC countries participating in the ‘Declaration of Cooperation’, for their commitment, as reflected in the unprecedented conformity levels to the voluntary production adjustments.

The conference paid a glowing tribute to the President of the Conference, Khalid A. Al-Falih, Saudi Energy Minister, and the Chair of the Joint OPEC-Non-OPEC Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) in 2017, Kuwait's Oil Minister Issam A. Almarzooq, for their exemplary leadership and the major contributions they have made to the success of the ‘Declaration of Cooperation’.

It has been decided that the conference's next Ordinary Meeting will convene in Vienna, Austria, on June 22, 2018. (WAM) (END/2017)


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