95 Oil Companies to Set Up New Database

RIYADH, 25 September 2005 — A new oil database, prepared with the help of seven major energy organizations and nearly 95 oil producing and consuming countries, including Saudi Arabia, will be published periodically after being released to the public near the end of this year. The database is prepared as part of a Joint Oil Data Initiative (JODI) by the International Energy Forum Secretariat (IEFS) and other energy organizations.

“The new database will promote data sharing and market transparency,” said Ambassador Arne Walther, IEF’s secretary-general, here yesterday. He said that the Riyadh-based IEFS was coordinating with major energy organizations to release the JODI World Database. Walther said that JODI was progressing satisfactorily with the help of “the participating countries, which account for over 95 percent of world oil production and consumption.”

Walther spoke to the press about the JODI, the need for more dialogue among oil producers and consumers, the oil market and regional cooperation with special reference to the World Petroleum Congress (WPC) to be hosted by South Africa from Sept. 25 to 29. Ali Al-Naimi, Saudi minister of petroleum and mineral resources, will deliver his keynote address at the 18th WPC on Sept 27; Walther will also participate in the five-day Johannesburg meeting.

Referring to the new oil database, he said: “The IEFS is working with the Asian Pacific Energy Research Center (APEC), the Statistics Office of the European Union (EUROSTAT), the International Energy Agency (IEA), the OPEC, the Latin-American Energy Organization (OLADE) and the UN Statistical Division (UNSD) to release the database. This joint effort, aiming at improving the quality and transparency of international oil statistics, involves assessing the current availability of monthly oil data,” said the IEF chief.

He referred to the role played by IEFS in the “Roundtable of Asian Ministers on Regional Cooperation in the Oil and Gas Economy” organized early this year by Mani Shankar Aiyar, Indian minister of petroleum and natural gas. The next meeting of Asian ministers to discuss regional energy interdependence will be hosted by Saudi Arabia, said Walther.

The IEF chief said: “We are also facilitating other regional dialogues within the global dialogue and we are involved in the EuroGulf project.”

EuroGulf is a research project on EU-GCC energy relations supported financially by the European Commission and involving a consortium of European and Arab institutions. Moreover, the UN has invited IEFS to contribute to the focus to be put on energy and development in 2006-2007, following the Johannesburg world summit.

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