Remarks by the President of the OPEC Conference at the 14th JMMC Meeting

Delivered by HE Manuel Salvador Quevedo Fernandez, Venezuela’s People's Minister of Petroleum and President of the OPEC Conference, at the 14th Meeting of the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC), 19 May 2019, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Mr. Chairman, Excellencies, distinguished delegates,

It is a great pleasure to see the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) return to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the beautiful and historic city of Jeddah, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

I would like to thank our generous and gracious hosts, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and in particular, HE Khalid Al-Falih, Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Chairman of the JMMC, for the outstanding arrangements made for our meetings, that are taking place during the holy month of Ramadan.

The friendly welcome we have received and the tireless efforts of the team here in Saudi Arabia should be roundly praised and applauded. Allow me to give a special salute to HRH Prince Abdulaziz Bin Salman .

I should also like to acknowledge the pivotal leadership role that Saudi Arabia has played in the implementation of the ‘Declaration of Cooperation’ since its inception in January 2017.  It has lead the way with its voluntary production adjustments, often going above and beyond its commitments.

Alongside HE Al-Falih as Chairman of the JMMC is HE Alexander Novak, Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation.  Their continued stewardship of the JMMC in 2019 is vital to all of us, with their tireless dedication and leadership an encouragement to all of us to continue to strive for the market balance and the sustainable oil market stability that both producers and consumers desire.

It is also a great pleasure to be serving on this committee with many other dedicated and hard-working ministers.  I am sure it is a committee that will continue to be collaborative, resilient and adaptable. I also would like to welcome HE Mohamed Arkab, Minister of Energy of Algeria.

In my role as OPEC Conference President in 2019 I am regularly briefed and kept informed of developments and shifts in the global oil market landscape, by HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, OPEC Secretary General, and his diligent team at the OPEC Secretariat.

In fact, I am sure we all greatly appreciate the continued excellent support, research and analysis that assists all nations in the ‘Declaration of Cooperation’.

Mr. Chairman, Excellencies, distinguished delegates,

From the standpoint of my home country Venezuela, it is evidently a very challenging time given that we are under siege from illegitimate sanctions, face intimidation and threats, both internally and externally, and our people continue to suffer from the economic warfare being raged against us.

Let me stress that we remain resolute in standing up to these unlawful actions, and are steadfast in our determination to overcome these acts of aggression.

I hope we can continue to count on the international community, and the support of OPEC, as well as non-OPEC producers in the ‘Declaration of Cooperation’, to resolve these challenges through open and fair dialogue.

It is also important to stress the potential impact of these sanctions on the global oil market, through the introduction of more volatility and uncertainty, when what we all require is a balanced and stable market to help bring more solidity and growth to the oil sector.

From the perspective of the ‘Declaration of Cooperation’, overall conformity levels to the new voluntary production adjustments have continued to improve month-on-month.  It is vital that all participating countries remain steadfast in their focus on the full and timely implementation of the decisions taken in December 2018.

There is clear evidence that we have seen an improvement in market conditions over the first four months of 2019, compared to the turbulence and volatility of the fourth quarter of 2019.

However, it remains vital that we continue to take a measured approach.  We will continue to monitor the global and regional economic outlook and the oil market fundamentals, given the ongoing increases in non-OPEC supply and the expected drop off in oil demand this year, compared to 2018.

In this regard, it is also vital to observe the underlying risks, such as ongoing trade negotiations, monetary policy developments and complex geopolitical challenges.

Today, the JMMC will review the prepared reports and analysis from the Joint Technical Committee and the OPEC Secretariat, make recommendations where relevant and applicable, which will then feed into the 176th Meeting of the OPEC Conference and 6th OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting at the end of June.

As OPEC Conference President, I feel it is also important to stress that the ‘Declaration’ is not about short-termism.  We are focused on continuity.

There remains a common sense of purpose that OPEC’s cooperation with our non-OPEC partners, fuelled by the positive spirit of equity, fairness and transparency, continues in one form or another in the years ahead.

Over the past two years or so we have achieved great things, and I have no doubt that we can continue to achieve great things in the future.

Thank you for your attention.

HE Manuel Salvador Quevedo Fernandez, Venezuela’s People's Minister of Petroleum; and President of the OPEC Conference

HE Manuel Salvador Quevedo Fernandez, Venezuela’s People's Minister of Petroleum; and President of the OPEC Conference