OPEC Secretary General discusses expanding cooperation with IEF Head

Vienna, Austria, 16 March 2017--The Secretary General of OPEC, HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, met Tuesday with Dr. Sun Xiansheng, Secretary General of the Riyadh-based International Energy Forum (IEF) at the OPEC Secretariat in Vienna to discuss enhancing their fruitful cooperation.

The Secretaries General laid out specific ways of deepening the strong collaborative relationship and shared activities that exist between the two organizations. These included joint participation at various upcoming events and multilateral fora.

HE Mohammad Barkindo extended an invitation to Dr. Sun Xiansheng to attend the OPEC-China energy dialogue, to be held in China in April, and the OPEC-Russia energy dialogue, expected to be held in June as a guest of honour.

“It would be important that the IEF participates”, Mr. Mohammad Barkindo said. “It is the essence of [the] IEF to bring all parties, producers and consumers, together … in the interest of sustainable stability in the oil industry and the global economy.”

“You have an important role to play,” he said. “It would be good if our joint cooperative efforts can [be made] manifest here,” he said, in line with the spirit of the 2010 Cancun Declaration, which encourages consumer-producer dialogue.

OPEC and the IEF already collaborate on the IEF-OPEC-IEA Symposium on Energy Outlooks, the Joint IEA-IEF-OPEC Workshop on the Interactions between Physical & Financial Energy Markets, the IEA-IEF-OPEC Technical Meeting on Advancing the Comparability of Energy Outlooks, the IEA-IEF-OPEC Annual Symposium on Gas and Coal Market Outlook and the Joint Oil Data Initiative (JODI).

The two officials also discussed an upcoming conference of 30 African countries, scheduled to take place in Tunisia on 11-12 April, at which leaders will discuss energy poverty.  Africa should be a strong focus for the future, the two Secretaries General agreed, because of widespread energy poverty.

“The [conference] will be a strong first step for the African continent,” Mr. Barkindo said. “Let’s gradually but steadily work together on the issues of energy access and [energy] poverty,” he added, and commended the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) for supporting the conference.

The OPEC Secretary General stated he had met with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa in 2016 and encouraged Dr. Sun Xiansheng to meet with her as well to enhance common efforts on environment and sustainable development.

HE Dr. Sun Xiansheng, IEF Secretary General (r), with HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, OPEC Secretary General

HE Dr. Sun Xiansheng, IEF Secretary General (r), with HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, OPEC Secretary General