Vienna, Austria (4E) – The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on Wednesday reappointed Secretary-General Abdullah El-Badri of Libya to lead the group for another year and kept its oil production ceiling at 30 million barrels per day (mbpd).
El-Badri is supposed to step down at the end of the year after two three-year terms but the 12 OPEC member countries failed to agree on his successor in their meeting in Vienna, Austria, according to Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi.
The candidates to replace El-Badri were Majed al-Moneef of Saudi Arabia, Gholam Hossein Nozari of Iran and Thamir Ghadhban of Iraq. Al-Moneef is a former OPEC governor while Nozari and Ghadhban are former oil ministers of their countries.
Analysts view his retention as most pragmatic as El-Badri has steered the cartel through the financial crisis since 2007. El-Badri begins his third term on Jan. 1, 2013.
The retention of the output, meanwhile, was made in light of prevailing high crude prices and a forecasted drop in oil demand next year, al-Naimi said. OPEC is particularly concerned of the eurozone crisis’ impact on the oil market. It expects demand to decrease to 29.7 mbpd.
The price of crude oil in the world market is pegged at $108 per barrel on Wednesday.