OPEC Secretary General attends Presidential Plenary and follow-up sessions at the World Energy Congress

Istanbul, Turkey, 11 October 2016--OPEC’s Secretary General, HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, attended an impromptu meeting with various presidents on Monday afternoon, as well as a follow-up session with other energy officials, at the 23rd World Energy Congress, being held this year from 9-13 October in Istanbul.

The meeting was entitled “Presidential Plenary Session” and included the President of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, the President of Russia, Vladmir Putin, the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, and the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Each president spoke at the session, with HE Mohammad Barkindo stating during a follow-up session that there could not be a better time to bring such delegates together to discuss matters of global significance.

Also present at the presidential session were Turkey’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Berat Albayrak, and Turkey’s Prime Minister, Binali Yildirim.

HE Mohammad Barkindo also participated in a follow-up session with Rovnag Abdullayev, the president of the State Oil Company of Azerbeijan (Socar), which produces oil and natural gas from onshore and offshore fields in the Caspian Sea.

In his comments, Mr. Abdullayev spoke about the importance of a stable political environment for the industry. The large-scale projects undertaken by Azerbeijan today, he said, would not have been possible without political stability. “We need peace for development,” he said.

Azerbaijan this year is celebrating its 25th year of independence.

In his statement, HE Mohammad Barkindo stated that the current price cycle, driven by excessive supply, is the most severe of the last six cycles. Prices have plunged by over 80% from the middle 2014 until early this year, he noted, which has had negative implications for investment and could potentially threaten future supply.

HE Mohammad Barkindo stated that there has been a convergence of views between producer and consumer countries in recent months. For the first time in recent memory, consuming countries are equally concerned as producing countries about the price cycle, he said, which has taken longer to turn around than expected. He further noted that no forecasting agency had predicted that the current cycle would last longer than six months to one year.

The Secretary General added that he does not believe in the forecast scenarios put forward by the World Energy Council that by 2030 energy demand will peak with potential stranded reserves by 2060. He said demand for energy will continue to rise, noting that global population growth continues at a strong pace, particularly in the developing world and that the global economy is predicted to keep growing. According to OPEC’s estimates, projected demand is expected to rise by 17 mb/d by 2040 to bring us to roughly 120 mb/d.

In reference to last month’s agreement reached in Algiers, HE Mohammad Barkindo said it was a demonstration of the commitment of all 14 OPEC Member Countries to  achieving the goals of stability and security of the Organization, which form part of the Organization’s mission.

In comments to HE Mohammad Barkindo, moderator John Defterios, CNN’s Emerging Markets Editor and host of “Marketplace Middle East”, congratulated the Secretary General on his ‘shuttle diplomacy’ and for his ability to build bridges among different stakeholders.

The World Energy Congress, which has been running since 1924, is one of the world’s premier energy gatherings and always counts with an impressive lineup of ministers and Heads of State. The event, co-hosted this year by the President of Turkey, and officially inaugurated with a keynote address by HE Khalid Al-Falih, Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, offers a unique opportunity for participants to better understand energy solutions and issues from a global perspective. More than 10,000 delegates from across the energy world are expected to attend.

HE Barkindo at the World Energy Congress

HE Barkindo at the World Energy Congress

HE Barkindo during the follow-up session

HE Barkindo during the follow-up session

HE Barkindo speaking to the media

HE Barkindo speaking to the media