Relationships built to last

OPEC Bulletin Commentary February 2018

The new year got off to a positive start for OPEC and its non-OPEC partners of the ‘Declaration of Cooperation’ as the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) gathered in Oman on January 21, 2018, for its 7th Meeting.

For this inaugural meeting of the new year, the Sultanate of Oman graciously welcomed the Committee’s members to its beautiful capital of Muscat as official hosts of the meeting. Oman is one of the ten non-OPEC participating countries of the ‘Declaration of Cooperation’, and has a long and rich history of collaboration with OPEC, spanning nearly three decades.

This issue’s feature coverage of the JMMC highlights this enduring relationship, which dates back to March of 1986 when Oman first attended an OPEC Ministerial Conference as an observer at the 77th (Extraordinary) Meeting of the Conference held in Geneva, Switzerland.

In his opening remarks at the JMMC, OPEC Secretary General, Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, gave much of credit for this long-lasting friendship to the country’s oil minister.

“The greatest highlights in Omani-OPEC relations have occurred in the last 20 years. This is no mere coincidence,” he said. “This is because of a very special gentleman, someone who we are honoured to call our friend — Dr Mohammed bin Hamad Al-Rumhy, Minister of Oil and Gas of this great country.”

Oman’s historical support for OPEC has continued in this latest round of collaboration, the ‘Declaration of Cooperation’, as it has achieved one of the highest levels of conformity with its voluntary production adjustments.

The OPEC-Oman relationship is a perfect example of what can be achieved through long-term dialogue and cooperation. This was not a one-off collaboration to achieve a particular goal, but rather a steady, long-term building of bridges, opening up of communication and exchange of mutually beneficial dialogue.

And, indeed, OPEC is hoping that these precious bonds of partnership that have been forged through the ‘Declaration of Cooperation’ will turn into long-term working relationships in support of a sustainable stability in the global oil markets. This will benefit producers and consumers alike, while boosting the world economy — it is a win-win scenario.

These sentiments were echoed by both the JMMC Chairman, as well as the Secretary General at the 7th Meeting of the JMMC.

“I believe that, going forward, we will all benefit by further solidifying the JMMC platform, as we must look beyond the short and medium term to long-term stability in the market on a more sustainable basis,” said Khalid A Al-Falih, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources; and Chairman of the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee. “That is likely to require building on our current platforms and devising stronger mechanisms of data collection and ensuring their integrity and consistency for all participants.”

In speaking to the press at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the Secretary General also proclaimed the benefits of institutionalizing this cooperation.

“OPEC and non-OPEC cooperation within the umbrella of the ‘Declaration of Cooperation’ will go beyond the rebalancing of the oil market — we want to institutionalize this relationship,” he said during an interview with Bloomberg TV.

It is clear that this new chapter of collaboration in the international oil industry is on strong footing, and the close bonds formed between OPEC and its non-OPEC partners are here to stay.

OPEC Bulletin February 2018

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