Opening Remarks by the President of the OPEC Conference

Delivered by HE Abdelmadjid Attar, Algeria’s Minister of Energy and President of the OPEC Conference, at the 20th Meeting of the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC), 15 July 2020, via videoconference.

Your Excellencies, distinguished ladies and gentlemen,

I want to thank you all for the warm welcome on the event of my first Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee Meeting. It is very exciting for me to be able to join you at this most essential committee meeting and take part in the hands-on work.

Thanks also to the Chair and Co-Chair for their welcoming statements. Your Excellencies, HRH Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Salman of Saudi Arabia and Alexander Novak of the Russian Federation — your hard work and dedication have been essential in achieving the successes of this committee.

I also want to thank this committee for its perseverance, hard work and strength, putting the backbone in our decisions and ensuring that our all-important commitments which the oil market counts on are held.

I very much appreciated my inaugural bilateral meeting with the Secretary General on July 6, in which I was formally inducted into this prestigious Organization and received very valuable information and reports on oil market conditions and prospects.

OPEC and its work are not new to me. I have had the honour to be involved in the work of OPEC and its secret negotiations, when I was CEO of Sonatrach and the market was going through another deep crisis at the end of the nineties.

But it is a particular pleasure to join you now in this capacity as President of the Conference in 2020, and I count on your cooperation and support. I would like to thank my predecessor HE Mohamed Arkab for carrying the torch thus far during the year. I will convey your good wishes to my brother HE Mohamed Arkab.

Let me also assure you that Algeria remains fully committed to making the very best of this difficult year.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Algeria has played a crucial role in the entire Declaration of Cooperation process, with the DoC being given first life at the 179th Extraordinary Meeting of the Conference in Algiers on September 28, 2016. This was the game-changing conference at which OPEC Member Countries finally found common ground and reached a decision in Algiers to return to its statutory role of production management to ensure market stability.

When we look back on the accomplishments to date, the Declaration has gained depth and strength, respect and recognition over time. The Declaration, now complemented by the Charter of Cooperation, has become an essential pillar of the energy dialogue. We are a rock that the market holds to for guidance and to take calm and considered action in the face of extreme volatility.

Dear colleagues,

The industry was headed for a complete derailment in the face of the COVID-19 virus, which forced an unprecedented loss of demand due to shutdowns.

However, our OPEC+ members quickly fully engaged in solving the problem, through effective cooperation and collaboration. The achievements of OPEC+ in managing the outfall of the pandemic are widely recognized by the industry and are visible in hard data.

I believe our successes of late show once again the resilience of our Organization, especially in unprecedented times. We deserve much praise on this, our 60th anniversary.

But, we should not be complacent. Oil market balance is progressively improving. Conformity rate is satisfactory. But risks and uncertainties are huge, be they related to the pandemic or to the economic consequences. We need to remain vigilant. Today’s meeting is a great opportunity to take stock, assess the implementation of our agreement, and analyse future prospects and associated risks and uncertainties.

I wish you a successful meeting.

Thank you.

HE Abdelmadjid Attar, Algeria’s Minister of Energy and President of the OPEC Conference

HE Abdelmadjid Attar, Algeria’s Minister of Energy and President of the OPEC Conference

 The meeting was held via videoconference

The meeting was held via videoconference