Diezani nominated as OPEC secretary-general – Iraqi Oil Minister

Iraqi Oil Minister, Abdelkarim al-Luaybi  yesterday claimed that Nigeria had nominated Petroleum Resources Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, to succeed OPEC’s long-standing Secretary-General Abdullah El-Badri.

Luaybi made the revelation in Vienna, home to Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) headquarters.

Nigeria has however not commented on the matter, although a vote for the position is not due until December this year.

Oil producing cartel have been deliberating about sticking by its output ceiling.

OPEC, which pumps out about one third of the world’s oil, has stood by a daily production ceiling of 30 million barrels for almost three years.

OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia, the cartel’s biggest and most influential producer, declared yesterday that he expected no change to oil output levels.

Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi, speaking on the eve of the meeting, said the market was “stable and balanced” and that he therefore believed there would not be any decision to change output.

“The price is at a comfortable level for producer and consumer countries as well as for the oil industry,” Naimi said.

While OPEC appears satisfied with current price levels at around $100 a barrel, the cartel is in fact pumping below its collective target owing to abundant supplies in top crude consumer the United States.

Offsetting this to a large extent are worries of potential supply strains as Ukraine risks sliding into all-out civil war.

“Current oil prices are positive for… all producers and customers,” Libya’s acting oil minister, Omar al-Shakmak, told reporters yesterday in Vienna, home to OPEC headquarters