Saudi nominates candidate to top Opec post
Dubai, January 31, 2012
Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia has nominated a candidate for Opec's next secretary general, a Gulf Opec delegate familiar with the matter said.
The current secretary general of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Abdullah Al-Badri of Libya, completes his second and final three-year term at the end of 2012. Opec will seek to select a replacement, to start in 2013, at its next meeting in June.
Saudi Arabia has nominated Majid Al-Moneef, Saudi's governor at Opec, for the post, the Opec delegate told Reuters. "There is a lot of support for Moneef. He's well respected and an experienced economist," the delegate said.
The secretary general is the 12-member organization's lead representative on the world stage, helps formulate the group's output policy and is in charge of Opec's secretariat in Vienna.
Al-Badri's appointment starting in 2007 ended a three-year impasse over the job. Opec failed to reach a consensus on who would succeed Venezuela's Alvaro Silva.
Iran, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait nominated candidates, but inter-Gulf political rivalry made it impossible to reach agreement. Al-Badri, a former head of Libya's Opec delegation, was a compromise.
"The issue of nominations will be discussed in the upcoming Opec meeting in June," the delegate said. If agreement on Moneef were achieved, he would be the first Saudi secretary general of Opec since Mohammad Saleh Joukhdar served a one-year term in 1967, the sole Saudi in the post so far.
The post has tended to go to candidates from smaller Opec producers to spread influence beyond Saudi Arabia and Iran, the two largest producers in the group. - Reuters