The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke has been elected as the first female President of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) at the 166th meeting of the OPEC Conference in Vienna, Austria.
According to a statement signed by Ohi Alegbe, Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division NNPC, Mrs. Alison, whose tenure takes effect from January 2015, will take over from Abdourahman Atahar Al-Ahirish, Libya Vice Prime Minister for Corporation.
Before her emergence today, she was the Alternate President of the Organization.
The Conference also elected Dr Mohammed Bin Saleh Al Sada, Minister of Energy and Industry of Qatar and Head of its delegation as Alternate President.
Addressing newsmen shortly after her election, Mrs. Alison- said the US Shale oil and gas had a lot of impacts on all major oil and gas producing economies stressing that it is a major game changer for all stakeholders in the energy mix across the globe.
The Petroleum Minister noted that in the months ahead, OPEC would provide a veritable platform for member countries to find a remedy and deal with the issue frontally noting that there are no quick fixes to the sliding oil prices.
The newly elected OPEC President stated that the burden of falling oil prices is impacting on both OPEC and non OPEC member countries.
She said the current trend would make Nigeria to look very stringently again at the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) which is already before the National Assembly to ensure that the enablers therein are explored to make it more and more competitive in the global energy market.
On the plans by the Federal Government to prepare for the global fall, she said Nigeria has no recourse at this point in time other than to fully develop her gas infrastructure for domestic use.
Rising from the 166th Ordinary Conference, OPEC member countries decided that in the interest of restoring market equilibrium, current production level of 30 million barrels per day as was agreed in December, 2011, should be maintained.
The conference also confirmed the readiness of member countries to respond to developments which could have an adverse impact on the maintenance of an orderly and balanced oil market.
OPEC also directed its secretariat to step up its close monitoring of developments in supply and demand as well as non fundamental factors such as speculative activity and keeping member countries fully briefed on developments.