The UAE, which holds about 10 per cent of the world’s known oil reserves, is a vital contributor to world energy security, the head of Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) reported by UAE news agency (WAM) as saying. The UAE has been an OPEC member country since the 1960s and is one of the pre-eminent players in the global energy arena,'' remarked Abdalla Salem El-Badri, the Vienna-based secretary general of OPEC ahead of his first appearance at an industry forum in the country. OPEC secretary general, who was previously the energy minister of Libya, will be the feature guest speaker at The Gulf Intelligence Energy Markets Forum on September 19, which will be held at the Dubai Armani Hotel. The forum marks the first occasion that El-Badri has participated in an event in the Emirate since taking up his current post five years ago. According to Badri, the demand for OPEC crude oil is expected to average above 30 million barrels a day in 2011 at a time when the OPEC Reference Basket, which is an average oil price from a collection of different crudes produced by member countries, has been well above $100 a barrel since February. OPEC, he said, was on target this year to see the 12-member group’s total oil revenue jump above $1 trillion for the first time ever. ''This forum represents an excellent platform to further the energy debate and deepen the understanding between all energy stakeholders,'' said El-Badri, who will be joined by regional energy officials and international executives including from Vitol, Standard Charted Bank, Thomson Reuters and the Dubai Mercantile Exchange. The OPEC secretary general will make his first public comments since June at the Gulf Intelligence forum after a turbulent three-month period for the global economy. ''The Energy Markets Forum comes at a most opportune time against a backdrop of unparalleled financial and social dynamism in the region," said Tom Leaver, CEO of the Dubai Mercantile Exchange. "Building a robust, relevant and level playing field for all energy market participants is an essential component for these markets to work. Consequently," he said.