IEA Head Visits Saudi Arabia

(Paris) — 5 March 2003

The International Energy Agency's newly-appointed Executive Director, Mr. Claude Mandil, visited Saudi Petroleum and Mineral Resources Minister Dr. Ali al-Naimi in Riyadh on Wednesday 5 March 2003.

They discussed the tensions in today's oil markets reflected in undesirable price volatility, an issue of concern to both producers and consumers. Mr. Mandil welcomed producers' commitment to meeting any further loss of supplies to oil markets in a swift and timely manner. He noted similarly the IEA's commitment and preparedness to respond convincingly to any loss of oil supplies by making additional oil available to the market when needed.

The Saudi oil minister reassured Mr. Mandil of the Kingdom's longstanding policy and practice of supplying oil markets reliably and promptly and highlighted the collective responsibility that producing countries have shown in addressing the concerns of world oil markets. He stressed the necessity of containing price hikes as these damage the economic interests of both consumers and producers.

M. Mandil and Minister al-Naimi commended the positive evolution of dialogue among oil producers and consumers and the deepening exchange of information. They welcomed the greater co-operation and improved data flows between the IEA and OPEC Secretariats as a significant contribution to the stability oil markets.

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