Saudi candidate out of OPEC top job race - report

New Sec Gen of OPEC likely to come from Iran or Iraq after Majid al-Moneef withdraws

(For illustrative purposes).

(For illustrative purposes).

The new secretary-general of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is likely to come from Iran or Iraq after the Saudi Arabian candidate reportedly pulled out.

Majid al-Moneef withdrew his candidacy to be the face of OPEC after he was promoted to secretary-general of Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Economic Council on Monday, Bloomberg reported.

It is not known whether Saudia Arabia will put forward a new candidate before OPEC next meets on May 31.

The organisation had failed to appoint a new secretary-general at its December meeting, leaving Libya’s Abdalla El-Badri in the role for another year.

The vote is now likely to come down to two former oil ministers: Iran’s Gholamhossein Nozari and Iraq’s Thamir Ghadhban.

As OPEC members, the Gulf states of United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Qatar will participate in the vote.

OPEC’s 12 members supply about 40 percent of the world’s oil.

Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest producer, producing about 9.1m barrels a day.

Al-Moneef had served as Saudi Arabia’s governor to OPEC and as a senior economic adviser to Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi.

He reportedly withdrew his candidacy for the secretary-general position after his promotion to the Kingdom’s Supreme Economic Council, which is headed by King Abdullah and sets and oversees national economic policies and coordinates among government entities.

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources and OPEC could not be reached for comment.

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