New OPEC chief seeks oil market stability

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VIENNA, Aug 2: Secretary General of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Haitham Al-Ghais of Kuwait promised Monday to do all in power to guarantee a stable and balanced global oil market. In statements to KUNA and Kuwait’s state TV on his first day at office, Al Ghais expressed firm determination to spare no effort to continue OPEC’s instrumental role in the global oil market since its inception in 1960. The new Secretary General pointed out that he looked forward to working hardly and constructively with member states and non-member partners, particularly of the OPEC Plus alliance, to add more to OPEC’s successes and achievements.

Haitham Al-Ghais

The organization principles focus on promoting dialogue among producers, consumers and all concerned parties to ensure the stability and balance of oil supplies and prices, he clarified. Al-Ghais noted that the world was facing a number of difficult challenges with significant impacts on the oil market. He explained that the coronavirus pandemic had created a state of uncertainty throughout the global economy and the recent geo-political developments caused supply disruptions for many commodities including oil and negatively affected investment policies particularly in the energy sector.

“These challenges make me determined to make every effort to achieve the OPEC goals of stabilizing and balancing the global oil market,” the Secretary-General concluded. Al Ghais was appointed by acclamation for a three-year term at the Special Meeting of the OPEC Conference held on 3 January 2022. He is a respected oil technocrat and well-known OPEC figure who brings a great wealth of experience from both his diplomatic background, as well as his extensive experience in the energy and oil sectors in both OPEC Founder Member Kuwait and internationally.

The Secretary General’s career in the global oil industry spans 30 years. He advised six Kuwaiti oil ministers on the global oil market and its developments over the past years. Al Ghais is also a veteran of the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC). He served at KPC’s offices in Kuwait; Beijing, China; and London. Before taking the position of OPEC Secretary General, he was the Deputy Managing Director for International Marketing at KPC. He was a leading member of Kuwait’s delegation to the meetings of OPEC and the Declaration of Cooperation (DoC) between OPEC Member Countries and non-OPEC oil-producing countries. He served as Kuwait’s Governor for OPEC from 2017 to 2021. He was also a Member of the Organization’s Internal Audit Committee, which he later skillfully chaired. Al Ghais was the first Chairman of the DoC’s Joint Technical Committee (JTC) following the inception of the historic framework in December 2016.

He led the Committee with great distinction in its first year, and subsequently served as a Member of the JTC until June 2021. He also played a key role in drafting and developing the landmark Charter of Cooperation (CoC). The CoC was endorsed by OPEC Member Countries and several non-OPEC producing countries in July 2019 at the Sixth OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting. (KUNA)

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