Al-Naimi inaugurates IEF Extraordinary Ministerial Meeting

February 23, 2011

Under the patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Al-Naimi inaugurated the Extraordinary Ministerial Meeting of the International Energy Forum (IEF) in Riyadh yesterday. The meeting coincided with the 20th anniversary celebrations of the start of the formal dialogue between oil producing and consuming countries and featured the signing of the new Charter of the IEF General Secretariat by 87 countries. During the proceedings, a number of papers addressing a variety of topics were presented and discussed.

In a concluding statement, the IEF participants declared, “The IEF Charter marks a new era of international energy cooperation built on greater mutual understanding and trust, with a significant reinforced political commitment to an informal, open, informed and continuing global energy dialogue in the framework of the IEF among energy producing and energy consuming countries.”

Addressing a press conference afterwards, Al-Naimi stressed the importance of the IEF Charter, noting that it contains a mechanism for convening extraordinary meetings to face any emergencies in the world energy market. He denied the existence of any shortage in the oil market at the current time, pointing out that Saudi Arabia and other OPEC countries possess sufficient surplus capacity to deal with shortfalls.

In response to a question, Al-Naimi suggested that a fair price for a barrel of oil would be at least $70. He offered reassurances that political and economic disturbances in various parts of the world have not significantly affected oil supply thus far.

For his part, the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, Nobo Tanaka, commented that OPEC has enough spare capacity to enable it to make up for any shortage that might be seen in Libya or elsewhere.