The 85th session of the ministerial council of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) approved its 2011-estimated OAPEC budget of $7.28 million, which is 4% up from that of the last year.

The meeting was held in Cairo last month, during which participating ministers discussed several issues, concerning the bilateral cooperation between members.

“The oil price and production, which depend on the supply and demand on the market, are outside the frame of meeting”, said Secretary General of OAPEC Abbas Ali Naqi following the closed meeting.

The Egyptian Minister of Petroleum, Eng. Sameh Fahmy told reporters at a press conference after the closing meeting that Egypt is engaged in various oil and gas projects in cooperation with Kuwait, Libya, and the United Arab Emirates (UEA), like the Arab Gas Pipeline and the Sumed Pipeline. He highlighted the country’s support to strengthen ties among OAPEC members.

Fahmy added that major Egyptian oil companies, such as Enppi and Petrojet, implemented numerous projects in 14 Arab countries, worth more than $5 billion.

Fahmy seized the opportunity to shed light on the factors leading to soaring prices worldwide, such as the bad weather in Europe and the swinging energy demand and called for an “in-depth and careful study” to examine the oil prices during 2011.

From his side, Mohammed bin Dha’en Al-Hamili, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Energy Minister and Chairman of OAPEC 85th meeting, said there are investment opportunities in the Arab countries. “The bilateral cooperation among member countries is doing well, and the economic integration of Arab countries has bright future.”

Established in Beirut, in 1968, by the oil exporting Arab countries, OAPEC aims to develop the petroleum industry by fostering cooperation among its members. It contributes to the effective use of the resources of member states through sponsoring joint ventures. Bahrain will preside over the next round as of January 2011.