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Saudi oil minister honored in New York

 New York 8th May 2001

  Ali bin Ibrahim Al Naimi, the Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, was honored by the New York Exchange Market. The role played by the Kingdom in maintaining the stability of the world oil market and securing oil supplies and his own role in the oil industry were also acknowledged at a party held by the New York Stock Market

The party was attended by a number of Congress Deputies, senior officials of the American Administration, a number of companies' presidents and the Saudi ambassador to the United
Nations, Fawzi Shobokshi.

Joy Bariton, Congress Deputy for Texas, stressed the close relations between the Kingdom and US in the oil field, describing the Kingdom as playing a positive role in securing oil supplies and the stability of the market in a way that serves the world economy.

The chairman of the New York Exchange Market indicated in his speech that the oil market is an international field for the connection and interchange of the interests of producing and consuming oil countries.

For his part, Al Naimi reviewed the changes that had formed the oil industry into its current shape, the establishment of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in the 60s, and then the transfer of the control of oil production, distribution and pricing from big companies to producing countries.

The Minister indicated that the 70s saw the beginning of dissociation between the producing and consuming countries, when the producing countries began to practice their natural rights in controlling their oil resources.

He added that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was established, as a reaction of the consuming countries, to counter OPEC.

The Minister noted that the Iranian revolution and the Iraq-Iran war had led to temporary decrease in oil supplies which had became the main source of income not only to the producing countries but also to the consuming ones as well, because of taxes imposed by these countries on oil products to finance their governmental activities.

Al Naimi indicated that the war to liberate Kuwait placed the Kingdom and all of the oil producing countries under an obligation to maintain the stability of the market.

The Minister said that environmental concerns posed a great challenge for the oil producing countries: - on the one hand, to produce high quality petroleum products to meet developing economies' need and on the other hand to curb the environmentally harmful effects of these products.

The Minister talked about contracts of future delivery known as Nymix light oil contracts and said they were of no less importance than other developments that had occurred during the last fifty years.

He said they provided two main advantages: limiting risks and increasing transparency.

He stated that stable oil prices providing fair returns were vital to the Kingdom's and the world's economies.

The Minister said: “Our aim has been always and still is to provide enough supplies to the market and keep prices at the desired level which is US 25 dollars per barrel for the OPEC price basket, equal to US 28 dollars for intermediate West Texas crude”. The Minister also talked about the importance of price transparency for oil producers, the Kingdom’s efforts to maintain the stability of international oil markets and limit risks through maintaining price stability.

The Minister stated that there is no price system free of shortcomings. He said that the Kingdom was proud of its outstanding record as a reliable oil supplier [that aims] to secure balance and stability of oil prices. To this end, the Kingdom retains additional production capacity in

order to overcome the great increases in prices in the event of oil supply interruption, he said citing the period after the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq.

Crude oil will remain the major fuel for economic development during the foreseeable future, the Minister added. He stressed the need for dialogue between the producers and consumers to secure price stability.

Source: SPA©

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