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OPEC applauds improving oil market conditions since January — President 

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) Mr Salvador Fernandez, the President, Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on Monday applauded the improving oil market conditions being recorded since January.

 Fernandez made his thoughts known in Vienna at the opening of the 176th meeting of the bloc while welcoming delegates to the conference. 

 The OPEC President said that the improvement being recorded was in sharp contrast to the turbulence and volatility experienced in the fourth quarter of 2018. 

He, however, noted the recent increased uncertainty in trade negotiations, monetary policy, and geopolitical issues confronting the bloc, adding that there were clear signs of “economic bearishness”.

“Although this is now projected to rise by 1.14 million barrels per day and alongside this is an assessment for non-OPEC oil supply in 2019 to grow at a pace of 2.14 million barrels a day,” he stated. 

“OPEC recognises that the challenge of balancing the oil market and maintaining stability is a continuous process and shared responsibility.

“To this end, we need to remain vigilant in monitoring the market in order to be flexible and agile in taking necessary actions,” he said. 

He, however, lauded the achievements of OPEC member countries’ “Declaration of Cooperation”  in pursing a balanced, stable, and sustainable global oil market since 2017.

The News Agency  of Nigeria reports that the two-day meeting is expected to also determine an extension of the global oil production cut.

Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and  Russia are among countries rooting for a nine-month extension of global oil cut as stipulated under the “Declaration of Cooperation” by OPEC.

The “Declaration of Cooperation” was an outcome of the Joint OPEC-Non-OPEC Producing Countries’ Ministerial Meeting held on Dec. 10, 2016 and was effective for an initial period of six months.

The declaration constitutes an unprecedented milestone in the history of the OPEC because for the first time ever, the member countries of the organization coordinated with 11 non-members in a concerted effort to accelerate the stabilization of the global oil market through voluntary production adjustments, which amounted to approximately 1.8 million barrels per day.

The Second Joint OPEC-Non-OPEC Producing Countries’ Ministerial Meeting, which was held on May 25, 2017 decided to extend the voluntary production adjustments for another nine months beginning July 1, 2017.

The sustainable oil market stability sought by the declaration is in the interests of producers, consumers, investors, and the global economy at large.

At the third joint OPEC-Non-OPEC Producing Countries’ Ministerial Meeting, held on Nov. 30, 2017, it was agreed to amend the Declaration of Cooperation so that it will take effect for the entirety of 2018.

The core principles of transparency, equity and fairness which have underpinned the Declaration of Cooperation infuse all aspects of OPEC’s interactions with its non-OPEC oil producing partners, including cooperation at a research and technical level. 

Edited by Emmanuel Yashim

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