Saudi Arabia Names Candidate to Head OPEC

Saudi Arabia has nominated its candidate to succeed the current head of the Organization Petroleum Exporting Countries, Gulf oil sources said Tuesday, potentially reviving a scramble for influence within the producers' group.

Saudi Arabia has named Majid Al-Moneef, its governor with OPEC, to succeed incumbent Abdalla Salem el-Badri, who is leaving at the end of 2012, the sources said.

The move came after el-Badri wrote this month to OPEC members reminding them of his planned departure, other OPEC sources said.

For the time being, no other country has put forward a name for the position, OPEC sources said. There hasn't been a Saudi national heading the group since 1967 and a Saudi source said "we are very hopeful we will get it."

However, a Saudi application to head the organization "will not be easy" to win amid tensions with Iran, another Gulf oil source said.

Iran and Saudi Arabia, the group's largest members, are at loggerheads after the kingdom pledged to make up for any oil supply loss tied to sanctions against Tehran.

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.


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Touss Sepehr | Feb. 3, 2012
With all due respect, Irans opposition to a Saudi secretary general to head the organization is much more convoluted than merely oil output increase or playing the swing producers role. The most important is the two countries fierce competition over power politics in the Persian Gulf and, to a lesser extent, the obvious Saudi opposition to Irans candidates, namely Kazempour Ardebili in the 90s, to take the coveted mantle of the SG.

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