Opening remarks by the President of the OPEC Conference

Delivered by HE Abdelmadjid Attar, Algeria’s Minister of Energy and President of the OPEC Conference, at the 24th Meeting of the JMMC, 17 November 2020, via videoconference.

Your Royal Highness,


Ladies and gentlemen,

It my pleasure to join Their Excellencies in welcoming you to this 24th Meeting of the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee Meeting.

First, I wish to thank HRH Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Salman of Saudi Arabia for his ongoing efforts and leadership in steering this important Committee through a critical period of the oil history.

Sincere thanks also go to the Co-Chair of the JMMC, HE Alexander Novak. Excellency, on behalf of the OPEC Member Countries and my delegation of Algeria, we congratulate you on your new appointment as Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, and we wish you the very best in this prominent role.

I would also like to thank each Member of the JTC and the Secrertary General, HE Mohammed Sanuci Barkindo, for their valuable support.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

In 2020, this has been no easy task, but OPEC has continued to rise to the challenge and, in close partnership with our non- OPEC partners of the Declaration of Cooperation, we have been able to provide a vital undercurrent of stability at a time of unprecedented uncertainty and economic distress brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Algeria had the honour of chairing the 22nd GECF Ministerial Meeting last week, and it was a pleasure to see many of you in attendance. We had a valuable opportunity to discuss the COVID- 19 impacts on the global commodity markets and the economy, as well as the related uncertainties that continue to plague the market. In the course of these deliberations, there were many positive remarks made by the Ministers regarding the courageous and responsible efforts of OPEC+ to bring balance and stability back to the energy markets.

It has been said many times and is worth repeating that without the valiant action of the DoC producers, the oil market and the economy would today be in dire straits.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

Since we last met, several national lockdowns have been re- imposed by governments who are seeking to counter the swiftly rising case-loads of the pandemic as second waves of the virus spread across various regions. With more than 51 million confirmed cases worldwide, and around 1.3 million fatalities, the world is still at war with this silent nemesis.

This is above-all a humanitarian crisis, and governments around the world will continue to do whatever they can to help save lives and bring this urgent situation under control.

We were pleased to see the recent positive news on the COVID-19 vaccine front, as companies get closer to developing a proven safe and reliable vaccine. These positive steps forward have bolstered the stock markets and helped brighten investor sentiment, restoring hope that we will soon have a viable defines against this pandemic.

In the meantime, the global economy continues to suffer through a recession, with global GDP expected to shrink by 4.3 % this year. However, we expect the economy to gradually recover in 2021, reaching 4.4% growth.

As far as demand goes, we see contracting global oil demand for 2020 face further pressure from second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and related lockdowns. Such contraction, as high as 9.75 mb/d, is unprecdedented. However, in 2021, demand growth is anticipated to recover and expand at a pace of 6.25 mb/d. Nevertheless, global oil demand will remain well below pre-pandemic levels.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

What does all this mean? Simply that the road to recovery is still long and bumpy.

With that in mind, I would like to simply urge all Participating Countries, in these challenging times, to stay the course and remain committed to fulfilling our respective commitments. We must remain flexible and resilientready to adapt to the ever- changing dynamics of the market.

In this historic year in which we are proudly celebrating OPEC’s 60th Anniversary, let us strive to write the next chapter in our history. It is my sincere hope that this new chapter would describe how OPEC joined forces with non-OPEC producers to overcome a global pandemic, ushering in a heathy, growing and prosperous global oil market once again.

Thank you, and I wish us all a productive meeting today.

HE Abdelmadjid Attar, Algeria’s Minister of Energy and President of the OPEC Conference

HE Abdelmadjid Attar, Algeria’s Minister of Energy and President of the OPEC Conference