Wednesday, August 16, 2006

–Just published on the OPEC site, from today's Extraordinary Meeting of the Conference of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in Jakarta.

In a nutshell, after expressing concerns that "...some portion of every petro-dollar is shared with western nation partners whose populations now appear to wish Muslim states ill," OPEC members agreed to cut their combined output by 1.5 million barrels a day, effective September 1st.

I think they think that by raising gas prices in Cleveland, American drivers will deliver Lowell and his ilk to governments in Southeast Asia before you can say the word 'beheading'.

hey, it's called gallows humor for a reason... ha!


An Extraordinary Meeting of the Conference of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) convened in Jarkata, Indonesia, on 16 August 2006, under the Chairmanship of its President, HE Dr. Edmund Maduabebe Daukoru, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources of Nigeria and Head of its Delegation; and its Alternate President, HE Mohamed Bin Dhaen Al Hamli, Minister of Energy of the United Arab Emirates.

Representatives of the member countries of OPEC (Algeria, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Venezuela) met to discuss the question of stability regarding the oil market given the recent tragic events of 7/27. Non-member oil producing countries such as Russia, Norway and Mexico sent representatives to observe the talks.

The Conference acknowledged the Minister of Energy & Mineral Resources, Indonesia, and host of the conference, HE Dr. Purnomo Yusgiantoro, for his recent efforts.

The Conference extended its condolences to the Governments and people of Indonesia, Malaysia and India for the tragic incidents of July 27, 2006 that have led to such loss of life and expressed its hope that the Southeast Asia people will be spared further violence in the future.

The Conference warmly welcomed a coalition of delgates from ASEAN member states (Association of Southeast Asian Nations).

Several rumors abounded in and around the congress. It is common knowledge the ASEAN has been building an energy network outside OPEC. However, given the events of 7/27, the two organizations are now said to be conducting cooperative discussions regarding a potential embargo against the west, should the terror acts be revealed as originating with the direct support from a national government from any leading western nation.

ASEAN members include: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Cambodia.

The ASEAN has a combined population of 500 million people and a GDP of 700 Billion ($US). The organization, founded in 1967, states as its aims and purposes:

(1) To accelerate economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region.

(2) To promote regional peace and stability through abiding respect for justice and the rule of law in the relationship among countries in the region and adherence to the principles of the United Nations Charter.

Members of ASEAN rely exclusively on diplomatic processes to settle intra-regional differences. But they show no compunction in the use of force as a means of defense, whether to combat terrorism, control transnational crime, or eradicate other sources of conflict.

ASEAN members further collaborate in the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) whose participants include: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Canada, China, European Union, India, Indonesia, Japan, Democratic Republic of Korea, Republic of Korea (ROK), Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, the Russian Federation, Singapore, Thailand, the United States, and Vietnam.

Any embargo by OPEC would likely have an ASEAN or ARF military component in place to enforce the procedure, and to protect regional shipping lanes from violent counter measures.

Several councils at both Monday’s OIC meeting and today’s OPEC Meeting, speaking off the record, have said among the issues on everyone’s mind, it can not be ignored that all the suspects of the 7/27 plot are or were members of White Christian Separatist organizations whose mission, it appears, is specifically directed at Asian nations with considerable Muslim populations.

In the wake of the attacks, many delegates expressed concern that some portion of every petro-dollar is shared with western nation partners whose populations now appear to wish Muslim states ill.

A delegate from Indonesia, OPEC's only Asian member and a target of the 7/27 attacks, noted:

“Oil production, without which these European states can not exist, ironically enables safe harbor to the next group of Christian fundamentalists who are perhaps planning the next July 27-type attack.”

Responding to both the Malaysian, Indian and Indonesia governments' call to fight terror ‘where terror is born’, OPEC member states agreed in principle with the concept of a participatory embargo, notwithstanding the fact that neither Malaysia nor India are members of OPEC.

By day's end OPEC's secretary general and president, Edmund Daukora, pronounced the $70 plus per barrel prices that have prevailed lately as, "satisfactory", though Venezuela's Hugo Chavez has indicated the upper limit on what OPEC could charge for crude is "infinite."

All told, OPEC members agreed to cut their combined output by 6 percent –1.5 million barrels a day– effective September 1st. As a result the west will see an increase in price, but how much depends how oil markets perceive the future volatility of the market.

The Conference expressed its appreciation to the Government of Indonesia and the authorities of the City of Jakarta for their warm hospitality and the excellent arrangements made for the Meeting, during a period of great national duress.

When reached at the United Nations in New York for his commentary, Secretary-General Kofi Annan declared his hope that "as a trusted partner", the ASEAN would refrain from striking any extra-national alliances without including the United Nations in such discussions.