The oil ministers of the member states of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) concluded their 61st conference in Cairo today, after approving the 1999 budget, and renewing for a further three-year term the office of OAPEC Secretary-General Abdul Aziz Al-Abdullah Al-Turki, effective March, 1999. The Algerian dry basin project was referred to the Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP) for further assessment and study of financing mechanisms if it proves feasible. The meeting also agreed to extend Iraq's supervision term for the Arab Petroleum Training Institute for two years, effective January 1, 1999. It was announced that Muwaffaq Khalil from Iraq, Amirah Jawad from Iraq, and Dr. Hamdi Abu-Al-Naja from Egypt, had won the OAPEC scientific prize for 1998. The next meeting of OAPEC will be in Cairo on December 4, 1999.
Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Ibn Ibrahim Al-Naimi, who led the Saudi delegation, made a statement after the conference that if the member states of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) would strictly adhere to the measures taken this year, the prices of oil would improve. He said that there are many reasons for the current fall in oil prices, the most important of which are imbalance of supply and demand, and the deteriorating global economic situation that is curbing demand while supply is plentiful, and predicted that prices would not regain their normal levels for some time.