Closing Remarks by OPEC Secretary General

Delivered by HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, OPEC Secretary General, at the Launch of the World Oil Outlook 2020, 8 October 2020, via videoconference.

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

It has been a distinct privilege for OPEC to hold this videoconference to launch the 2020 edition of the World Oil Outlook.

Every year, the release of our flagship annual publication affords the opportunity to take stock of where we are in the current year and to review, analyze and evaluate how the energy and oil sectors may develop going forward.

We are proud that this year’s World Oil Outlook represents a symbol of continuity and stability in a world overshadowed by uncertainty and turbulence.

I want to thank all those who participated for your insightful comments and thought-provoking questions.

Our panellists and the entire staff of the OPEC Secretariat merit special recognition for researching, writing, producing and distributing the 2020 World Oil Outlook in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic. They have worked tirelessly to ensure that the important business of OPEC continues without interruption under exceptional circumstances.

I also thank OPEC’s Member Countries for their unfailing support in making the World Oil Outlook possible every year.  This publication is one of the many manifestations of our Organization’s enduring commitment to sharing knowledge and data transparency as well as its vital contributions to an inclusive global energy dialogue.

I would again like to extend special appreciation to Dr Rainer Seele, of OMV, and Professor Jonas Puck from the Executive Academy of the Vienna University of Economics and Business for their insightful and motivating contributions.

I mentioned in my opening remarks that 2020 represents a new chapter in the unfinished history of OPEC – our 60th anniversary.

2020 also has special significance because it marks the OPEC Secretariat’s 55th year in the beautiful city of Vienna.  We are grateful for the support of the Austrian Government and the City of Vienna, for friends and neighbours like OMV and the Executive Academy, and for the graciousness of the Austrian people throughout these years.

Before concluding, I would like to emphasize a few key messages that emerged from today’s presentations.

First, it is abundantly clear that all energy sources will be needed in the future and that oil will play a leading role in the energy transition. To sustain this role in the coming decades, the industry requires adequate and timely investments.

A second point is that our world requires a combination of efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and technology is key.  The circular carbon economy, which is discussed in greater detail in the World Oil Outlook, is one concept that could support a transformational leap towards a more sustainable society.

And finally, I would again like to stress the importance of the bold and decisive action taken by the OPEC and non-OPEC countries in the Declaration of Cooperation to help arrest the market’s freefall earlier this year, support the draw-down of unsustainable inventory, and provide a platform to support a global economic recovery.

As we look to the future, we also must recognize visionary actions undertaken by these same countries in their endorsement of the Charter of Cooperation in July of 2019.  The Charter provides an important framework to extend voluntary collaboration to other issues of common concern, such as climate change and the oil industry’s continued importance in the world’s evolving energy mix.

Furthermore, the Charter offers a unique platform for cooperation on advanced technologies and innovative applications that can help reduce the industry’s environmental footprint.

As one of my favourite philosophers, Jalal-ad-Din-Muhammad Rumi, once said,

“The garden of the world has no limits except in your mind.”

While this is the end of our event today, we will continue to cultivate and water our garden with regular dialogues and exchanges on oil and energy to the benefit of all humanity.

Thank you.

HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, OPEC Secretary General

HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, OPEC Secretary General