OPEC : Speech by Algeria's Minister of Energy

Speech by Algeria's Minister of Energy

Delivered by HE Noureddine Boutarfa, Algeria's Minister of Energy at the OPEC Consultative Ministerial Meeting, 28 September 2016, Algiers, Algeria.


Excellencies,
Bonjour.  Masā' al-khayr. Good afternoon.

It gives me great pleasure to see all the Heads of Delegation of OPEC Member Countries here today.  This is the first time all OPEC Ministers have been together in Algeria since the landmark 151st Extraordinary Meeting of the OPEC Conference in Oran in December 2008.

I would also like to personally offer a warm welcome to Gabon and its Head of Delegation, His Excellency Etienne Dieudonné Ngoubou, his country’s Minister of Petroleum and Hydrocarbons.  This is the first time Gabon has been part of a meeting of OPEC Ministers since the country officially rejoined OPEC in July this year.

Excellencies,

It is an honour for us to host this consultative meeting, which follows the successful outcome of the 15th International Energy Forum (IEF) Ministerial meeting here in Algiers.  The dialogue we have all been part of during the IEF meeting, bringing together both producers and consumers, has been extremely welcome as we all look to confront the challenges and opportunities facing the oil market today.

There has been much talk of achieving ‘sustainable market stability’ and I have no doubt from my conversations with you that this is central to the thinking of all our Member Countries.  The importance of this cannot be overstated.

While the global oil market is showing signs of rebalancing, the process has taken longer than all of us expected.  And our Member Countries have all suffered significantly since the oil price started falling back in the middle of 2014.  We need to ask ourselves the question: can we wait for market forces to eventually rebalance the market and return the stability we all desire, with prices at levels that allow our Member Countries to grow their economies and invest in necessary new capacity?

It is important to also stress that this meeting should not only be viewed as a short-term necessity.  Yes, the short-term is in all of our minds, but as we all know, this is very much a medium- to long-term business.   We need to view this meeting as vital to long-term oil market stability.

I would like to personally thank you for the major efforts that have been made over the last few weeks or so to bring us all together and help build bridges towards a consensus.  These intensive talks have been vital to better understand each other, our current circumstances, the challenges we all face, and what options are available to us to help stabilize the market.

I feel we have taken great steps to shape a fair and common understanding among us all.  We have all shown accommodation.  We have all shown flexibility.  And we have all shown that our Member Countries have a collective interest in maintaining OPEC as an effective, capable and credible organization.

I believe it is vital for all of us here to leave this meeting with a positive and convincing message that we as petroleum and energy ministers are doing everything we can to help return stability to the global oil market.

In addition, the platform of an OPEC consensus will be vital in our ongoing consultations with non-OPEC producers.  If we can find common ground, then I am sure there is the opportunity to develop lasting and sustainable solutions among all producers.

Excellencies,

I hope today that we can take a further step and reach a consensus to pave the way for an agreement.  This will be beneficial to our economies, the world economy as a whole, and the global oil market.

We need to demonstrate to the oil industry and the world at large that we can act together and meet the genuine expectations of our Member Countries. Many of our governments have made recent statements urging OPEC to take a proactive approach, for a positive outcome.

We, in Algeria, have done everything possible to make this meeting a success.  I hope that when we leave this meeting we can show the waiting world that all of us here, our Member Countries, and OPEC, can deliver when it matters most.

Thank you for your attention.

HE Boutarfa, Algeria's Minister of Energy

HE Boutarfa, Algeria's Minister of Energy