DOHA: HE the Secretary-General of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Abdullah Salem El-Badri stressed the importance of the vital role of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in meeting the global energy demand.
HE the OPEC Secretary-General delivered "The 2014 Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah International Energy Awards Lecture" on the outlook for global energy markets in light of recent geopolitical developments" during the second edition of the Al-Attiyah International Energy Awards ceremony in Doha last night.
El-Badri highlighted the role of the Middle East in the supply of energy to the world, pointing out that the region has about 865 billion barrels of crude oil reserves and 86 trillion cubic meters of gas reserves, which represents 58 percent and 43 percent respectively of the world's reserves.
He explained that OPEC expects the exports of this region will increase by more than 22 million barrels per day in the period from 2012 and 2035.
He noted that the important geographic location as well as the huge natural resources have given a great strategic importance to the MENA region, which has always been a key hub for the transmission of enerhy supply to all parts of the world.
The Secretary-General said that crude prices are stable and the market has enough supply to meet demand, even amid geopolitical unrest in Europe and the Middle East.
"At present we see the oil market as well supplied. Supply is meeting demand and prices have been stable," El-Badri said.
Tension between Russia and Ukraine is adding uncertainty to the economic recovery in OECD countries, El-Badri said.
Growth can affect oil demand and influence prices.
Shale oil from the US is "a welcome addition as it adds depth and diversity to the market," he said.
OPEC forecasts crude and natural gas liquids output from the US shale to fall after peaking at 4.9 million barrels a day in 2018, he said.
"The question remains is how sustainable is this in the long term," he added. (QNA)