….As OPEC marks 60, commits to oil market stability
By Udeme Akpan
The price of Bonny Light, Nigeria’s premium oil grade, has dropped from $43 to $37.59 per barrel as the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, expressed commitment to oil market stability at 60.
The new price, fueled mainly by the negative impact of Coronavirus pandemic, remains low, considering the $28 per barrel and 1.8 million barrels daily output that form the basis of the nation’s 2020 budget. However, in its 60-year anniversary message obtained by Vanguard, OPEC, stated: “The Fourteenth of September 2020 is a very special day for OPEC. This sees the Organization celebrate its 60th anniversary.
“Few would have foreseen six decades ago that the Organization would have risen to the heights it has today in the global energy arena. Back then in Baghdad, the five Founding Fathers of OPEC, Juan Pablo Pérez Alfonzo of Venezuela; Abdullah al-Tariki of Saudi Arabia; Dr Tala’at al-Shaibani of Iraq; Dr Fuad Rouhani of Iran; and Ahmed Sayed Omar of Kuwait gathered together in the Al-Shaab Hall in Baghdad, to midwife OPEC into the world.
“In the context of that time, when the oil industry was dominated by the major oil companies, which was reflected in its structure and behaviour, it was a heroic and pioneering act by the Founder Members to come together in the Iraqi capital.
“The seminal ‘Baghdad Conference’, saw these five visionaries from the Founder Member Countries gather together around the premise of cooperation and with the need to write their own story.”
Continuing, it stated: “In the 1960s, OPEC established itself with courage, persistence and diligence, through the development of its Statute that remains in place today, registering at the United Nations (UN) Secretariat on 6 November 1962, under UN Resolution No 6363, initiating a number of landmark decisions, such as the ‘Declaratory Statement of Petroleum Policy in Member Countries’ in 1968 and expanding its Membership.
“Sixty years on, the Organization that is today 13 Member Countries is now an integral part of the international energy community and the multilateral system. It is widely consulted on oil industry affairs, remains firmly committed to secure and steady supplies and fair returns to investors, Member Countries run their own domestic oil sectors across the entire value chain, and the Organization has expanded its activities to champion issues affecting mankind as a whole.”
In reflecting on this, Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, OPEC Secretary General said: “I often think back to that day in 1960, the mood in Baghdad, how those visionaries envisaged the future of OPEC and the oil industry. What is clear is that what was set in motion has stood the test of time; OPEC still has the same core objectives, of order and stability in global oil markets, but its role has also broadened considerably, in terms of deeper cooperation with other producers, dialogue with a host of industry stakeholders, and an embrace of human concerns such as sustainable development, the environment and energy poverty eradication.”
It also added: “The 60th anniversary is a time to reflect and appreciate the efforts of all those who have worked so hard throughout our history to make OPEC the resounding success it has become. This includes generations of Heads of State and Government, Ministers, Governors and other high-level experts from outside the Secretariat and, from within the Secretariat, Secretary Generals, Management and Staff of every relevant discipline.
They have all enriched the Organization, through commitment, perseverance and sacrifice, to cope with the many ups and downs experienced by OPEC and its Member Countries.”