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The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) concluded its 169th Ministerial Conference in the Austrian capital Vienna yesterday. The Saudi delegation to the meeting was led by Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Falih.

The conference observed that, since its last meeting in December 2015, crude oil prices have risen by more than 80%, and underlined the importance of OPEC members continuing to monitor the market and cooperate both internally between member states and with the producing and exporting countries outside OPEC.

The conference decided to appoint Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo, from Nigeria, as Secretary General of the organization, with effect from 1st August 2016, for a period of three years. In doing so, the conference expressed its appreciation to Abdalla Salem El-Badri for his leadership of the secretariat and the organization during his tenure as Secretary General.
The conference paid a special tribute to Ali I. Naimi of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for his outstanding contribution to OPEC and commitment to the work of the organization over the past two decades.

At the end of the conference, Khalid bin Abdulaziz al-Falih said he was delighted to head the kingdom’s delegation at this conference, and the discussion with the rest of the ministers of OPEC.

He added that the conference proved the strength and cohesion of OPEC and its quest for oil market stability for the interests of producing and consuming countries and the international oil industry in the short, medium and long terms. He expressed optimism about the stability and balance of the oil market and the improvement of prices during the rest of this year and next year.

Asked by reporters about Saudi oil production, al-Falih said “We will be very gentle in our approach and make sure we don’t shock the market in any way,” adding that “there is no reason to expect that Saudi Arabia is going to go on a flooding campaign.”

The next ordinary meeting will convene on Wednesday, 30th November 2016 in Vienna, Austria.