Introductory Remarks by OPEC Secretary General

Delivered by HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, OPEC Secretary General, at the 6th High-level Meeting of the OPEC-Russia Energy Dialogue, 31 May 2017, Moscow, Russia.


Excellencies,
Distinguished delegates of the Russian Federation,
Ladies and gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure to be back in the beautiful and historic city of Moscow for this sixth High-level Meeting of the OPEC-Russia Energy Dialogue.

First of all, allow me to thank his Excellency Alexander Novak, Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation, and his staff for hosting this meeting here today and for his continued support of this dialogue.

As HE Khalid A. Al-Falih, Saudi Arabia's Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources and President of the OPEC Conference, mentioned in his introductory remarks, the OPEC and Russia Energy Dialogue evolved in the latter years of last decade, and I personally attended the sixth Russian Oil and Gas Week in October 2006.

Our high-level meeting here today, the sixth edition to date, started in 2012, and HE Novak has been present at every meeting since its formal inception. Indeed, he has been personally engaged to strengthen the Dialogue through a more formal structure and an increasing depth in content. I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to your Excellency for your visionary contributions to this process and for ensuring that a forward looking perspective always prevails.

Excellency, we have also witnessed your dedicated leadership and constructive and flexible approach on behalf of the Russian Federation to the ongoing joint efforts of OPEC and non-OPEC countries to achieve the rebalancing of the global oil market through the implementation of the Declaration of Cooperation.

In the wake of this resounding achievement as manifested at last week’s large gathering of the 2nd OPEC and Non-OPEC Producing Countries’ Ministerial Meeting, we are now spurred on to go even further as we continue to work together with our non-OPEC partners to lay the groundwork for an increasingly stable, healthy and growing global oil market.

Excellencies, delegates, ladies and gentlemen,

These annual dialogue meetings have proven to be very effective in providing a common platform for increased understanding and collaboration through the sharing of our respective energy outlooks and viewpoints on the industry.

The fifth High-level Meeting of this Dialogue took place in October of 2016 in Vienna. In addition to exchanging our respective outlooks on the short, medium and long-term oil market, an in-depth discussion took place on price volatility and the impact the high level of stocks were having on the industry.

In the concluding joint statement, the Parties stressed the importance of ongoing cooperation through high-level meetings, such as this one, but also through the well-established technical meetings, which are important venues to discuss pertinent issues affecting the industry.

In their Declaration of Cooperation in December 2016, OPEC and non-OPEC Ministers also underscored the importance of enhancing dialogue and cooperation through the establishment of regular technical expert meetings. The first such meeting was held on 19 May 2017 at the OPEC Secretariat with the objective to strengthen and institutionalize joint cooperation at both the technical and ministerial levels. The first session was dedicated to the developments in the US tight oil industry with in-depth briefings by international industry experts. In the closed session, the OPEC Secretariat gave presentations on the latest short and medium-term oil market developments, which were followed by discussions among the participating delegates.

The success of this meeting has paved the way towards a new framework for permanent and long-standing cooperation among oil producing countries, including the regular practice of joint research activities.

Excellencies, delegates, ladies and gentlemen,

As I alluded to earlier, we have just completed a marathon round of meetings in Vienna, where the OPEC and non-OPEC countries have agreed to continue working together as part of the Declaration of Cooperation in order to ensure that we achieve a balanced market sooner rather than later.

To get there, we will need to see the continued joint efforts of the OPEC and participating non-OPEC nations, which, thus far, have proven to be effective and have led to signs of market rebalancing and a generally more positive mood in terms of market sentiment. HE Alexander Novak and HE Khalid A. Al-Falih both alluded to these historic decisions and how they took us one step closer to our goal of re-establishing a balanced market.

And, now, with the last week’s decision of the OPEC and non-OPEC countries to continue their cooperative efforts, we have seen further momentum in the right direction, indicating a steady re-balancing of the market.

We all know the benefits this will bring to stakeholders across the industry: a stable and growing oil market, a healthy, robust and expanding world economy and security of oil supply to future generations. This is something worth fighting for.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

Looking at the agenda, we will have the opportunity today to share our respective outlooks on short, medium and long-term oil market developments and then engage in discussions on these issues. In addition, we will have an in-depth look at two very important themes that will be crucial to our goals of achieving a balanced oil market—non-OPEC supply prospects for 2017 and 2018, as well as road transportation and technology.

We will also look into future activities in terms of conducting a joint study on a selected pertinent theme of mutual interest, whereas the findings of the research undertaking could be presented and further discussed in a roundtable with a broader participation of OPEC and non-OPEC producing countries within the framework of the Declaration of Cooperation – consistent with the recommendations of the first technical meeting of OPEC and Non-OPEC Producing Countries held two weeks ago (19 May 2017).

In closing, allow me to say that we very much look forward to today’s deliberations. I am confident that this meeting will be enriched by the insights and experiences of everyone here as we look to further enhance this dialogue, and explore ways and means to work collectively to bring about the sustainable market stability we all desire.

Thank you for your attention.

HE Khalid A. Al-Falih, Saudi Arabia's Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, and President of the OPEC Conference (r), attends the meeting with HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, OPEC Secretary General

HE Khalid A. Al-Falih, Saudi Arabia's Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, and President of the OPEC Conference (r), attends the meeting with HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, OPEC Secretary General

HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, OPEC Secretary General (r); and HE Alexander Novak, Russia's Minister of Energy

HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, OPEC Secretary General (r); and HE Alexander Novak, Russia's Minister of Energy

HE Barkindo, OPEC Secretary General, speaks to the media in Moscow

HE Barkindo, OPEC Secretary General, speaks to the media in Moscow