Opening Remarks by the President of the OPEC Conference

Delivered by HE Khalid A. Al-Falih, Saudi Arabia's Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, and President of the OPEC Conference, at the 6th Meeting of the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC), 29 November 2017, Vienna, Austria.


Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen. Good afternoon.

I would first like to recognize the dedication and leadership provided to the Monitoring Committee by His Excellency Issam A. Almarzooq, Minister of Oil and Electricity of Kuwait, and His Excellency Alexander Novak, Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation.

This Committee is central to assessing the impact of our efforts to rebalance and stabilize the oil market and ascertaining the necessity and extent of future action.

It has now been nearly a year since we reached the production agreement, and the results have been gratifying.  The compliance results speak for themselves and it would not have been possible without strong leadership and guidance.

We have reached an average compliance of 102 percent over the first nine months, and in September that figure reached 120 per cent.  This level of engagement and commitment has had a positive effect on market confidence and stability.

Leading indicators show that the destocking process is well underway, as all regions of the world have seen a drawdown that has accelerated in recent months.  For the first time in the course of this cycle, OECD storage levels have fallen to 140 million barrels above the rolling five-year industry average from a record 330 million barrels last year.

For these gratifying results, I want to express my appreciation to the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee and the Joint Technical Committee, as well as to the OPEC Secretariat.

Let me take a moment to talk in retrospect about the importance of the Committee and its work.

As important as it is to reach agreements, it is equally critical to turn them into action and maximize their impact on the market.  In the absence of actual results, the agreements would in fact generate negative returns as they would adversely impact our reputation.

So, it is essential that we put the right mechanisms in place to maximize the impact of those agreements.  Therefore, I’m glad that we decided early on to set up the correct organizational structure, including the JMMC and the Joint Technical Committee whose hard work has helped guide our respective countries and oil ministries in their complex decision-making over these past months.  We have achieved solid results to date, which would not have been possible without each organization in the structure effectively discharging its responsibilities.

But we cannot afford to be complacent.  In order to continue meeting our shared goals, a good deal more hard work and commitment is essential.

In terms of the process, the committee’s analysis, outlook and recommendations will be used as a basis for deliberations among our Ministers in tomorrow’s meeting, who will then make critical decisions affecting our nations and our economies, the wider oil industry, and in fact the entire global economy.  They are relying on you for accurate information, insightful analysis and sound guidance.

So, in conclusion, I would like to stress that in the coming months our work will continue. We will need the full commitment of all countries.  While I want to congratulate and thank the over-performing members for their dedication, I want to urge those few under-performing countries to catch up.

To succeed in the future, it is crucial that we have everyone on board, and in our shared mutual interest I’m confident that I can count on your support.  Thank you.

HE Khalid A. Al-Falih, Saudi Arabia's Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources; and President of the OPEC Conference

HE Khalid A. Al-Falih, Saudi Arabia's Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources; and President of the OPEC Conference

The 6th JMMC Meeting took place at the OPEC Secretariat in Vienna

The 6th JMMC Meeting took place at the OPEC Secretariat in Vienna