OPEC Appoints Haitham as New Secretary-General

…as oil prices remain bullish.

Edo Michael

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), yesterday appointed a former Kuwaiti Governor, Haitham al-Ghais as its new Secretary-General to succeed Nigeria’s Sanusi Barkindo, following the expiration of his second in July 2022.

Just as oil prices remained bullish yesterday rising above $79 per barrel, spurred mainly by tight supply and hopes that demand would further recover in 2022 as well as the shutting down of a 200,000 barrels per day asset in Libya for maintenance.

Oil price figures as on Monday showed that the cost of Brent appreciated by 1.12 percent or $0.87 to $78.65 per barrel as at 5.10 pm Nigerian time.

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It was further observed that price increases were also recorded in oil grades in the OPEC Basket and WTI crude on Monday.

Crude oil in the OPEC Basket rose to $77.97 per barrel, representing a 5.04 percent or $3.74 rise as at 5.10 pm, when compared to what was posted the previous day.

OPEC has been gradually unwinding record oil production cuts of 10 million barrels per day (bpd), about 10percentt of global oil output, and would be left with about 3.4 million barrels at the end of January.

But while the group has been raising its targets, its production increases have not kept pace as some members like Nigeria have struggled with capacity constraints.

In November, OPEC+ oil producers missed their production targets by 650,000 bpd and 730,000 bpd in October, the International Energy Agency (IEA) disclosed in a document last month.

Brent crude rose 39 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $78.17 a barrel in the afternoon, but had earlier risen as high as $79.05.

On the other hand, the United State’ s West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude grew by 0.80 percent, to hit $75.84 at about 5:00 pm Nigerian time on Monday.

The increase further gained some support from an outage in Libya which would see output cut by 200,000 barrels per day for a week due to pipeline maintenance.

There might also be no surprises today as OPEC+ was expected to stick to its plans to increase output in February during its meeting, seeing a mild and short-lived impact on demand from the Omicron coronavirus variant.

However, there was a slight dip in the prices of oil ahead of today’s meeting.



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