Venezuela supports the candidacy of Ecuador to the general secretariat of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), a subject that will be discussed on Thursday in Vienna, during the ministerial conference of the group 161.
“We are going to support the, the candidacy of Ecuador, yes,” said today the Venezuelan Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez in response to a question about the position of Caracas to the aspiration of his Ecuadorian counterpart, Wilson Pastor, to take OPEC’s secretary general from January 1, 2013.
The Government of Ecuador announced last Friday that was formalized at the organization’s bid Pástor oil to replace its current secretary general, Abdullah El-Badri Libyan, whose second three-year term expires on December 31 this year.
“We think it would be a refreshing element within the organization,” Ramirez told a group of reporters, referring to the possibility of Ecuador, the smallest oil producer in OPEC (less than 500,000 barrels per day, compared to 10 million barrels of Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest exporter), assume the highest office of the organization.
He acknowledged, however, that the decision still require a debate within the group of twelve countries.
“There are many candidates, that’s good because it opens the discussion,” said the minister, and was referring to the fact that Pastor compete for the position with three other candidates.
The Saudi government has sent Mohammad al-Monif, current permanent governor to OPEC, while Iraq has opted for Tamir Ghadhban, adviser to Prime Minister on oil issues.
Iran, according to several unofficial sources has presented to former Minister Gholam Hosain Nozari Oil as their candidate.
“They are all good (…) the strength of each candidate, which we will discuss there,” Ramirez said.
Venezuela and Ecuador are the only Latin American member of OPEC, an organization founded in 1960 to coordinate the petroleum policies of its members to defend their income.