Reuters reports that OPEC has delayed a meeting of officials to help select its new secretary general, putting off delicate talks that could reignite rivalry for influence as Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq seek the top post.
A panel of officials was initially planned to convene at OPEC's Vienna headquarters during August, but the meeting is now more likely to take place in October.
Four of OPEC's 12 members have put forward potential successors to Abdullah al-Badri, a Libyan whose term finishes at the end of 2012.
Several delegates said the August talks were delayed because of difficulty in fixing the meeting around participants' schedules. But one said the group didn't want to deal with the delicate issue of succession at this time.
The four nominees are:
- Saudi Arabia's OPEC governor, Majid Al-Moneef;
- Thamir Ghadhban, energy adviser to Iraq's prime minister;
- Former Iranian oil minister, Gholam Hossein Nozari; and,
- a condidate from Ecuador.