Opening address by the President of the OPEC Conference

Delivered by HE Mohamed Arkab, Algeria’s Minister of Energy and President of the OPEC Conference 2020, at the 9th (Extraordinary) OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting, 9 April 2020, via webinar.

Your Royal Highness,
Excellencies,
Ladies and gentlemen,

It is my pleasure to welcome all Heads of Delegation to this 9th (Extraordinary) OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting.

We are in the midst of a human tragedy on a scale perhaps not seen since more than a century. The pandemic has reached almost every corner of the planet.

People are suffering, and especially the poorest ones. Our hearts are pierced by the images of makeshift hospitals around the world that have been built to cope with the mounting number of patients.

We pray for all those adversely impacted by this crisis – may they receive healing and comfort in their time of need.

In addition to the human toll, this crisis has inflicted major damage on the world economy and, by extension, the global oil market.

Since our last meeting in March, the Covid-19 pandemic has proliferated around the world, slowly and steadily paralyzing the global economy. Countries and citizens around the world are suffering the consequences of the economic impacts.

The impact on the oil market is also unprecedented. Large-scale oil demand destruction, and the resulting massive supply and demand imbalance, have the potential to fill global storage capacity quickly and force production shutdowns. The adverse impact on oil exporting country revenues is huge, at a time when these countries are facing the human tragedy of the pandemic and the resulting economic downturn.

Excellencies,

We are at a critical turning point, where action is required. The oil market is in an unsustainable freefall. This emergency meeting shall be an opportunity for decisive and immediate action.

The world’s eyes are on this large gathering of producers to provide visionary leadership at a time of crisis. Our meeting here today sends a clear message to the global market that we are taking this situation seriously and moving forward proactively and responsibly to find constructive, effective and credible solutions to rebalance the global oil market.

This is a historical meeting. It is an opportunity for multilateral collaboration, flexibility and inclusiveness, in these challenging times.

We must act today quickly and decisively, in firm solidarity and unity, in the interests of producers, consumers, the global economy and future generations.

Thank you.

HE Mohamed Arkab, Algeria’s Minister of Energy and President of the OPEC Conference

HE Mohamed Arkab, Algeria’s Minister of Energy and President of the OPEC Conference