Oil prices crash as Dieziani Alison-Madueke emerges first female OPEC president

Nigeria’s Minister of Petroleum, Dieziani Alison-Madueke has been elected the first female president of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). She was elected yesterday at the ongoing 166th General Meeting of the body in Vienna, Austria.

She replaces former president of OPEC, Libyan Vice Prime Minister for Corporations, Abdourhman Atahar-Ahirish. She was elected for one year and is expected to immediately resume office.

She is the first female to be so elected in the 54 year history of the Organisation.

Alison-Madueke was born 6 December 1960. She became Minister of Transportation on July 26, 2007 and was moved to Mines and Steel Development in 2008. She was appointed Minister of Petroleum Resources in April 2010.

Meanwhile, oil prices retreated further in Asia yesterday as OPEC kept production at present levels despite pressure over falling prices at a key meeting in Vienna. At about 1450 GMT yesterday, London’s Brent North Sea crude for January delivery dived to $74.36 per barrel while New York’s West Texas Intermediate for January slumped to $70.87. Both were low points last seen in late August 2010 as the 12-nation cartel held one of its toughest and most significant meetings in recent years in Vienna yesterday, with members under pressure to address falling prices, which have sunk 30 per cent since June.

At the end of the meeting, OPEC decided to maintain its oil output ceiling, Kuwait’s oil minister told reporters, despite a global supply glut that has sent crude prices crashing.

Asked what decision the organization had taken following a lengthy meeting of its dozen members, Ali al-Omair said: “No change.”

OPEC, which is headquartered in Vienna, opted to leave its collective daily oil output target at 30 million barrels, even after crude prices have plunged by more than a third in value since June.

The OPEC decision sent world oil prices tumbling to fresh four-year lows.

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