Opening address to the 164th Meeting of the OPEC Conference

No 5/2013
Vienna, Austria
04 Dec 2013

by HE Mustafa Jassim Mohammad Al-Shamali, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Oil of Kuwait, Chairman of the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation and President of the Conference

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

Let me begin by welcoming you all to Vienna for the 164th Meeting of the OPEC Conference.

It is an honour for me to represent Kuwait as Head of its Delegation and to serve OPEC as President of the Conference.

I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome back His Excellency Eng. Bijan Namdar Zangeneh, the new Minister of Petroleum of the Islamic Republic of Iran, who is attending the Conference as Head of his Country’s Delegation.

I invite H.E. Zangeneh and all other Heads of Delegation to join me in thanking our predecessors in office, H.E. Eng. Rostam Ghasemi of Iran and H.E. Hani Abdulaziz Hussain of Kuwait, for their valuable contributions to the work of our Organization.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

In the six months that have passed since the Conference met here in Vienna in May, we have seen an increasingly-stable oil market, which is a reflection of the gradual recovery in the world economy.

This positive development stems mainly from a healthy performance in the United States, in addition to the Eurozone countries returning to growth.

Emerging economies are expected to follow this trend, led by China and Brazil.

Global economic growth in 2014 is projected to increase to 3.5 per cent from 2.9 per cent in 2013.

World oil demand growth is forecast to mirror this economic improvement, rising by one million barrels per day over 2013.

Non-OPEC oil supply is also expected to rise in 2014 by 1.2 million barrels per day.  This will be mainly due to the anticipated growth in North America and Brazil.

Turning now to oil prices, the OPEC Reference Basket has remained stable over the past half-year, averaging over $105 per barrel from June to November.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

These statistics show us that, although the market has started to gradually emerge from the tough economic situation of the past few years, the pace of world economic growth remains slow.  Clearly, there are still many challenges to overcome.

With this in mind, OPEC will continue to monitor the situation closely in the interest of market stability.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

The latest round of climate change negotiations has just recently concluded in Warsaw.

Our goal is the full, effective and sustained implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

However, success will only come through comprehensive, transparent, inclusive and country-driven negotiations that account for the interests of all Parties involved.

During today’s discussion, we will have an opportunity to look at all these important issues in depth and consider the market outlook for the next six months and beyond. 

Our meeting will highlight the importance of achieving market stability, which benefits all stakeholders and contributes to economic growth worldwide.

Let me stress, though, that OPEC cannot get there on its own; all stakeholders must do their part. 

Only through dialogue and collaboration with consumers, non-OPEC producers, oil companies and investors can we reach our common goals. 

Our recent energy dialogues with Russia, the European Union and various international organizations have underlined the importance of this once again.

Thank you for your attention.