OPEC's Official Statement.
"The Conference welcomed the newly appointed Nigerian Presidential Advisor on Petroleum & Energy, HE Dr. Edmund Maduabebe Daukoru, as Head of its Delegation, and recorded its deep appreciation of the services rendered to the Organization and the Conference by his predecessor in office, HE Dr. Rilwanu Lukman.
"The Conference considered the report of the Ministerial Monitoring Sub-Committee and, once again, thanked the Sub-Committee Members for their untiring efforts on behalf of the Organization.
"Having reviewed the oil market situation, including the overall demand/supply expectations for the remainder of the year 2003 and the first half of 2004, as well as the outlook for the oil market in the medium term, and having observed that, despite upward revisions in oil demand estimates, the crude oil market is well-supplied, allowing replenishment of commercial oil stocks to continue in recent months, the Conference decided to maintain currently agreed production levels until further notice. In this connection, the Conference reiterated its call on Member Countries to ensure strict compliance with agreed production levels.
"Whilst noting, further, the relative strength in current market prices, with the price of the OPEC Reference Basket having fluctuated around the upper limit of the OPEC price band in recent weeks, the Conference acknowledged that this is partially a reflection of prevailing geopolitical concerns and, therefore, warrants continued careful observation.
"In this connection, the Conference also noted, with some concern, the decline in the purchasing power of the barrel as a result of current US dollar weakness vis-a-vis other major currencies.
"Moreover, taking into consideration the market outlook for 2004, in particular the second quarter, when the projected significant supply over-hang is expected to exert considerable pressure on oil prices, a situation requiring continuous monitoring and close assessment, the Conference reaffirmed its firm determination to take any measures, when deemed necessary, to maintain market stability and avoid price fluctuations.
"With this in mind, the Conference decided to convene an Extraordinary Meeting in Algiers, Algeria, on 10th February 2004 to consider adjustments in OPEC production.
"The Conference decided that, from 1st January 2004, the President of the Conference (Indonesian Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro) shall assume the responsibilities of the Secretary General, until such time as a new Secretary General has been elected.
"The Conference extended its thanks to the outgoing Secretary General, HE Dr. Alvaro Silva-Calderon, whose services to the Organization were greatly appreciated.
"The Conference appointed Mr. Ivan A. Orellana, Governor for Venezuela, as Chairman of the Board of Governors for the year 2004, and Mr. Hamid Dahmani, Governor for Algeria, as Alternate Chairman for the same period, with effect from 1st January 2004.
"The Conference resolved that its next Ordinary Meeting will convene in Vienna, Austria, on 31st March 2004. The Conference further decided to convene an Extraordinary Meeting in Beirut... on Thursday, 3rd June 2004..."