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Saudi Arabia Has Nominated New Research Head at OPEC

Source: Bloomberg 4/15/2013, Location: Middle East

Saudi Arabia has nominated a candidate from the kingdom to replace Kuwaitís Hasan Qabazard as the head of research at OPEC, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

The candidate will be discussed, along with any others from the 12 members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, at an OPEC board of governors meeting that is scheduled for May 6 or May 7, they said, declining to be identified because Qabazardís departure hasnít been publicly announced. Two other people with knowledge of the matter also said that the producer group is looking for a new head of research, speaking on condition of anonymity. An official at OPECís Vienna headquarters declined to comment. Qabazard couldnít be reached for comment when called on his office or mobile phones.

OPEC also hasnít yet chosen a replacement for its most senior executive, Secretary-General Abdalla El-Badri, who agreed in December to stay on for one more year after the group couldnít agree on a replacement from candidates offered by Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq. Saudi Arabia is OPECís largest producer and holds the most sway over international oil prices because it controls the biggest portion of unused pumping capacity.

The three candidates to replace Libyaís el-Badri remain as before; Saudi Arabiaís former OPEC governor Majid al-Moneef, Iranís former oil minister Gholamhossein Nozari, and Iraqís former oil minister Thamir Ghadhban.

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