Opening address to the 174th Meeting of the OPEC Conference

No 12/2018
Vienna, Austria
22 Jun 2018

by HE Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy and Industry, and President of the OPEC Conference.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
Good morning.

It is my pleasure to welcome you all to Vienna for the 174th Meeting of the OPEC Conference.

It has been particularly gratifying to witness the past couple of days of the 7th OPEC International Seminar.  It was an extremely impressive occasion, with a whole host of industry leaders providing their thoughts and insights on a variety of important industry topics and issues.

The event also underlines the importance that OPEC attaches to dialogue and cooperation and how bringing together all industry stakeholders can help us find reasons and solutions to some of the challenges, and opportunities, that we all face.

This is especially important given the recent, and current, oil market environment.

Since the last Meeting of the Conference in late November 2017, the oil market situation has further improved.

The global economy is strong, oil demand remains robust, the market is evidently rebalancing, and the return of more stability has been welcomed by all stakeholders.

The market has also continued to see the firm and unwavering resolve from OPEC and non-OPEC participants in the ‘Declaration of Cooperation’.  This is reflected in the unprecedented overall conformity levels we have seen from participating countries.

I would like to acknowledge and praise all of my colleagues from OPEC Member Countries, as well as participating non-OPEC nations, who have exhibited high levels of conformity.

I would like to thank OPEC’s Economic Commission Board, for their guidance in this process, and also offer our thanks to the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC), the Joint Technical Committee (JTC) and the OPEC Secretariat who have all assisted in the effective and efficient implementation of the ‘Declaration of Cooperation’.

They have helped deliver the impressive results we have witnessed, and their technical inputs and insights will feed into this Ministerial meeting and the 4th OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting tomorrow.

The ‘Declaration’ fully demonstrates OPEC’s commitment to sustainable market stability.  Our Member Countries have played a vital role in returning optimism to the oil market; one that is central to global economic well-being.

It has also caused a significant change in industry-wide and public perceptions of OPEC.  The Organization has ably demonstrated its credentials as a body committed to international cooperation, working with other producers, honouring its commitments and promoting respect among all nations.

The ‘Declaration of Cooperation’ has also received backing from other producers, as well as from consumers, and various global institutions.

Let me also stress here that it is a platform that is open to all producers.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

Our focus today is on reviewing all the market fundamentals to help better understand the market balance and stability we all desire, in the interests of producers, consumers and the global economy.

We fully appreciate and take on board the viewpoints and concerns of all industry stakeholders.  We are watchful, responsive and fully committed to market stability and global energy security.

Only last month, the JMMC acknowledged the rising concerns expressed by some importing and consuming countries regarding potential shortages in the global oil market and requested the JTC, supported by the OPEC Secretariat, to continue to closely monitor the oil market and to report any fundamental changes.

We will discuss these findings and carefully analyze all the numbers today, and of course, tomorrow in the OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting.

We need to continue to tread carefully; none of us want to see the return of the kind of volatility that allows pessimism to return to the markets.

Let me stress that our focus is on making sure that the market is both well-supplied and balanced.

This also includes looking beyond the short-term, with a specific focus on investments.

So far in 2018, the pace of investment has gradually picked up, but we are still not seeing enough robust investment in long-cycle projects.  These are the baseload of future supply, the foundation of this industry’s future, and will be vital to long-term global economic expansion.

To put this into some perspective, in the period to 2040, the required global oil sector investment in OPEC’s World Oil Outlook is estimated to be $10.5 trillion, with oil demand set to surpass 111 million barrels a day by 2040.

It is also important to remember that investments are not only about boosting new production.  Oil producers also need to account for natural decline rates.

Every effort should be made to avoid a potential supply gap that could present a future serious challenge.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

Beyond the important task of rebalancing markets in the short-term, I would also like to reiterate the vision for a cooperative and forward-looking OPEC, something that I have outlined since assuming the Presidency of OPEC at the start of this year.

Over the next couple of days, and in the months ahead, we will look to further institutionalize this cooperation, in order to continuously adapt to ongoing market dynamics, in pursuit of the interests of producers and consumers, whilst promoting healthy global economic growth.

It is important that we maintain all possible avenues for cooperation and understanding for the benefit of OPEC countries, in particular, and the world at large.

Thank you.

HE Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy and Industry; and President of the OPEC Conference

HE Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy and Industry; and President of the OPEC Conference

The 174th OPEC Meeting took place at the OPEC Secretariat in Vienna, Austria

The 174th OPEC Meeting took place at the OPEC Secretariat in Vienna, Austria