Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Al-Naimi, addressing in Riyadh today the second meeting of the steering committee for the International Energy Forum (IEF) Secretariat, announced the approval of the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia of a $4-million budget for the construction of the secretariat's permanent office building in the Diplomatic Quarter in Riyadh. Design plans, he said, are completed, and construction is in the bidding process. In addition, Saudi Arabia will contribute $250,000 annually as its share in the running costs. This logistical support, he said, will continue until the Secretariat is in a position to achieve its goals independently.
Minister Al-Naimi explained that the idea of establishing a permanent secretariat arose at the 7th International Energy Forum held in Riyadh in November 2000 in an initiative by Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz that received support from over 60 countries and international organizations. The resulting Osaka Announcement at the 8th IEF in Japan in September 2002, clearly indicated willingness to facilitate dialogue on issues of mutual interest such as market stability, security of supply and demand, environmental concerns, technology and market liberalizations. Saudi Arabia supports dialogue among all global energy players and works for the stability of the international oil market. During the ongoing discussions, a Secretary-General for the Secretariat will be elected from three candidates, from Italy, Norway and Mexico. Attending the meeting are delegates from, in addition to Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, France, India, Iran, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Norway, the United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, Russia, South Africa, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the International Energy Agency.