OPEC 178th (Extraordinary) Meeting of the Conference concludes

No 3/2020
Vienna, Austria
05 Mar 2020

The 178th (Extraordinary) Meeting of the Conference of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was held in Vienna, Austria, on Thursday, 5 March 2020, under the Chairmanship of its President, HE Mohamed Arkab, Minister of Energy of Algeria and Head of its Delegation.

The Conference took note of the announcement from Ecuador that it has withdrawn from its Membership of OPEC, with effect from 1 January 2020.

The Conference recalled the First OPEC Summit held from the 4-6 March 1975, exactly 45 years ago, in Algeria. The Summit saw the establishment of OPEC’s sister organization, the OPEC Fund for International Development. The Conference acknowledged Dr Abdulhamid Alkhalifa, Director-General of OFID, and his able staff, for their great achievements in contributing to reducing poverty and improving the lives of millions of people around the globe.

The Conference reviewed the report and recommendations of the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC), whose work continues to be ably supported by the Joint Technical Committee (JTC) and the OPEC Secretariat.

The Conference took note of oil market developments since it last met in Vienna on 6 December 2019 and reviewed the oil market outlook for the remainder of 2020.

It noted the positive ramifications of the decision to further voluntarily adjust production at the 177th Meeting of the Conference, and subsequently the 7th OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting, with market sentiment improving in the weeks thereafter.

However, the COVID-19 outbreak has had a major adverse impact on global economic and oil demand forecasts in 2020, particularly for the first and second quarters. Global oil demand growth in 2020 is now forecast to be 0.48 mb/d, down from 1.1 mb/d in December 2019. Moreover, the unprecedented situation, and the ever-shifting market dynamics, means risks are skewed to the downside.

The Conference noted that the further impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on oil market fundamentals necessitates further continuous monitoring.

Accordingly, in view of the current fundamentals and the consensus on market perspectives, the Conference decided to recommend to the 8th OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting to extend the adjustment levels agreed at the 177th Meeting of the Conference and the 7th OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting for the remainder of the year. It also agreed to recommend to the 8th OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting a further adjustment of 1.5 mb/d until 30 June 2020 to be applied pro-rata between OPEC (1.0 mb/d) and non-OPEC producing countries (0.5 mb/d) participating in the Declaration of Cooperation.

The Conference commended all OPEC Member Countries, as well as non-OPEC countries participating in the Declaration of Cooperation, for their continued commitment to achieving and sustaining balance and stability in the market.

Member Countries reaffirmed their continued focus on fundamentals for a stable and balanced oil market, in the interests of producers, consumers, and the global economy. The Conference emphasized the ongoing dialogue with consuming countries, and the consultations undertaken in a collegial spirit before reaching decisions. Member Countries are resolute and committed to being dependable and reliable suppliers of crude and products to global markets.

The Conference confirmed that its next Ordinary Meeting will convene in Vienna, Austria, on 9 June 2020, and noted that September 2020 will mark the 60 Year Anniversary since the founding of OPEC in Baghdad in 1960.

The Conference expressed its continued gratitude to the Government and to the people of Austria, as well as the authorities of the City of Vienna, for their warm hospitality and excellent arrangements for the Meeting.