x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 13 December 2017

UAE takes Opec presidency seat next month

Energy minister, Suhail Al Mazrouei, will assume the year-long role to preside over the organisation’s meetings

UAE's energy minister, Suhail Al Mazrouei, will become Opec conference president next month. Ronald Zak / AP
UAE's energy minister, Suhail Al Mazrouei, will become Opec conference president next month. Ronald Zak / AP

The UAE will lead the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) meetings starting next month.

Suhail Al Mazrouei, the country’s energy minister, will start his role as Opec conference president in January, serving for a period of one year. The last time the UAE held this position was by Mr Mazrouei’s predecessor, Mohammed Al Hamli, in 2007.

The UAE’s previous conference presidents extend back to 1978 with Mana Otaiba, who held the position for five years. He was followed by Yousef bin Yousef taking the helm in 1992, Rakadh bin Rakadh in 1996 and Obaid Al Nasseri in 1998.

The UAE joined the five founding Opec members (Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela) in 1967. Typically the 12-member oil group meets twice a year at its headquarters in Vienna.

Last week at its November meeting, Opec and non-Opec member countries extended production cuts until the end of next year. Opec said that the global economic growth forecasts as well as oil demand had improved since May, when it had decided to extend cuts.

However, the cut extension is necessary to address uncertainties to rebalance the market, the organisation said in a statement.

Opec said: “In view of the uncertainties associated mainly with supply and, to some extent, demand growth, it is intended that in June, 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.”

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