Opening address by the President of the OPEC Conference

Delivered by HE Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy and Industry and President of the OPEC Conference, at the 5th OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting, 7 December 2018, Vienna, Austria.


Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
Good afternoon.

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to the 5th OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting.

It is once again truly satisfying to see so many OPEC Ministers and other heads of delegation from non-OPEC producing countries here with us today.

This is a sign that our ground-breaking cooperation continues to go from strength-to-strength.

I would like to offer a specific thank you to my co-Chair for this meeting, His Excellency Alexander Novak, Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation.  He has been a strong advocate and dedicated leader in the cooperation between OPEC and non-OPEC as we have sought to restore the much sought-after balance to the oil market.

In talking of our cooperation, it is also important to stress that this is a framework for cooperation that remains open to all oil producers.

I should like to acknowledge a number of additional non-OPEC producers that have joined us today as observers.  These are Chad, South Africa, Uzbekistan, as well as the African Petroleum Producers Association.

Looking ahead, we welcome any new countries to join with us and work responsibly towards a balanced market, and sustaining the ‘hard won’ stability that has been achieved.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

Since the beginning of our cooperation back in January 2017, our countries have achieved a great deal of success.  We have made a remarkable difference, through your support in a collective, equitable and transparent framework for cooperation.

Over the past two years, this has been driven by the OPEC and OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meetings, and adeptly supported by the JMMC, the Joint Technical Committee (JTC) and the OPEC Secretariat.

These supporting bodies to the ‘Declaration’, alongside the OPEC Secretariat, have shown great fortitude, resolve and commitment in helping achieve the impressive results we have witnessed over the past two years.

They are insightful and dynamic bodies, producing high quality market analyses and valuable insights.

Collectively, we have reduced the inventory overhang and brought greater balance to the market.  However, we have seen increased market volatility in recent months.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

At the 175th Meeting of the OPEC Conference, we discussed the current oil market situation, the outlook for 2019, and the future evolution of our cooperation.  These issues will now be deliberated with Your Excellencies.

In looking to 2019, it is vital that we all have a clear understanding of the potential impact of developments on supply and demand fundamentals.

Our focus needs to be on helping maintain the balance that has been achieved, and sustaining the stability that has been realized.

It is vital that our hard-earned achievements are not compromised or lost.

It means that collectively we need to examine and assess the outlook for 2019, and develop a viable plan to ensure that jointly we take the necessary action to ensure the market remains balanced.

In this increasingly complex and interdependent world, at OPEC we believe in the core tenets of collaboration and fraternity among nations as the best solutions to overcoming challenges.

Our cooperation has come a long way, and we believe it remains vital in 2019, as well as in the years that follow.

This underscores that we should not lose sight of the significance of further strengthening our cooperation into a broader framework to ensure continuity.

We need to build on the success that has already been achieved.  This is in all our interests.

I look forward to our deliberations.

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 5th OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting took place at the OPEC Secretariat in Vienna, Austria

The 5th OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting took place at the OPEC Secretariat in Vienna, Austria

Group photo of OPEC and non-OPEC Ministers and officials, taken at the OPEC Secretariat

Group photo of OPEC and non-OPEC Ministers and officials, taken at the OPEC Secretariat

Opening Session