2007 News Story

OPEC to fund socioeconomic projects in least developed countries

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Secretary-General Abdullah Al-Badri and Assistant Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Affairs Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman held a press conference in advance of the Third OPEC Summit, which begins in Riyadh on Saturday. 

Al-Badri announced that OPEC would help developing and least developed countries (LCDs) offset the impact of rising oil prices by funding socioeconomic projects, particularly in the fields of housing, education and health care.

The Secretary-General stressed that OPEC does not use petroleum as a political weapon, noting that member states are investing up to $150 billion to increase capacity in the future. He also noted that the OPEC summit would not discuss changing the pricing mechanism from the dollar to another currency.

In remarks at the press conference, Prince Salman said that with the upcoming summit, OPEC seeks to highlights its role as an effective partner in achieving global prosperity and development, particularly for developing countries.

Prince Salman drew attention to Saudi Arabia’s substantial investment in the refining sector, both inside and outside the Kingdom. In addition, he stressed that the Kingdom has undertaken every effort to ensure the security of its oil facilities.

In related news, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Al-Naimi opened a two-day ministerial symposium in Riyadh today. The symposium, which is being held on the fringes of the OPEC Summit, provides a forum for the discussion of issues related to the oil and gas markets as well as energy and the environment.