Saudi Arabia OPEC Governor Mufti Said to Leave by End of 2013

Yasser Mufti, Saudi Arabia’s governor to OPEC, is stepping down after more than a year in his post at the producer group, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.

Mufti, who serves as chairman of the board of governors for the 12-member Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, is leaving by the end of this year, the people said, declining to be identified because Mufti’s departure hasn’t been announced publicly. Officials in the media department of the Saudi Ministry of Petroleum & Mineral Resources in Riyadh didn’t answer phone calls for comment after normal business hours. Mufti didn’t answer a call to his mobile phone.

Mufti, a Saudi Arabian Oil Co. employee who was seconded to work at OPEC, will resume working at the state-run company, known as Saudi Aramco, after gaining a promotion to an unspecified role there, the people said.

As governor to OPEC, he was the kingdom’s senior representative for administrative and policy matters. Saudi Arabia is the group’s largest producer, pumping 9.95 million barrels a day of crude in August, data compiled by Bloomberg show. OPEC, with headquarters in Vienna, supplies about 40 percent of the world’s oil.

Three other OPEC members have named new governors this week, according to information posted yesterday on the group’s website. Iran appointed Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, a former governor to OPEC, to replace Mohammad Ali Khatibi. Kuwait named Nawal al-Fezaia, and Nigeria appointed Danladi Kifasi, OPEC’s website showed.

OPEC’s members are Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela. The organization’s next ministerial conference will be held on Dec. 4.

To contact the reporter on this story: Wael Mahdi in Manama at wmahdi@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

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