Tuesday, 11 December 2012

OPEC set for easy oil deal, secretary-general dispute

OPEC's oil exporters look set this week to avoid a quarrel about how much crude they produce and argue instead about who should be the group's next secretary-general.
Oil prices are roughly where OPEC wants them - comfortably above $100 a barrel - but there is deadlock over who should replace Libyan Abdullah El-Badri as the public face of the organization.
The 12-member Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is widely expected to retain its 30 million barrel a day (bpd) output target for the first six months of 2013. OPEC's own maths suggest that, despite oil prices at a lofty $107 a barrel, it is pumping more than world markets need - pointing to a potential stockbuild and the possibility of a fall in prices at the start of next year.
While agreement on output policy looks straightforward, a decision on who to appoint secretary-general does not. Candidates from Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia are competing to replace the 72-year old Libyan Abdullah El-Badri, who has been in the job 5 years. Election requires a unanimous vote but rivalry between Saudi on the one hand and Iran and Iraq on the other reflects political divisions between those countries. That is likely, said OPEC delegates, to leave El-Badri in the job for another 6 months.

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