Saudi Oil Minister Welcomes Russia to OPEC Membership (Photo : MEMO)
Saudi Oil Minister Welcomes Russia to OPEC Membership (Photo : MEMO)

Riyadh, 4 Jumadil Akhir 1436/24 March 2015 (MINA)  – Saudi Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi welcomed Russia to the membership of OPEC on Sunday, saying that the organisation had called for many countries to join, but there had been little or no response, Anadolu has reported.

Membership of OPEC (the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries) includes Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Angola, Kuwait, Qatar, Venezuela, Ecuador, Libya, Algeria and Nigeria. Together they produce about one-third of the world’s oil needs.

OPEC was established in Baghdad in 1960 when an agreement was signed by Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.

Speaking at the second oil forum of the Gulf Cooperation Council held in Riyadh, Al-Naimi told delegates, “We are optimistic regarding oil prices and we have good intentions.”

He stressed that oil prices are based on supply and demand, and pointed out that unjustified price increases harm everyone.

The minister revealed the reason behind OPEC’s decision last November to keep the current production rate unchanged by recalling that the US increased production in the 1980s, when OPEC had decided to slow down.

OPEC production stands at 30 million barrels a day. He insisted that there is no political reason for maintaining the production status quo.

According to Kuwait’s Oil Minister, oil revenues represent 90 per cent of his country’s income. “As such,” added Ali Al-Omair, “we have not sought to decrease production, nor do we have any harmful intentions towards anyone; we are working with all to achieve a market balance.” (T/P002/P3)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)