OPEC participates in GECF Ministerial Roundtable on Natural Gas

Vienna, Austria,11 November 2020--OPEC Secretary General, Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, participated today in a ministerial roundtable hosted by the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) to discuss natural gas and its key role as an energy source in a post-COVID world.

In his remarks, the Secretary General thanked Algeria for hosting today’s important and timely event and commended the leadership of Energy Minister, Abdelmadjid Attar, who also serves this year as the President of the OPEC Conference.

Barkindo also recognized the highly successful inaugural meeting of the OPEC-GECF High-level Energy Dialogue, which was held on 4 November. The importance of continued dialogue and cooperation across the global energy industry was deemed by the roundtable to be crucial as the world continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addressing the current global conditions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Secretary General said that today’s sessions “come at a pivotal moment in time as the world continues to grapple with a global health pandemic that has taken countless innocent lives and severely damaged both the global economy and the energy markets. Demand for both oil and gas has suffered massive declines, and we are continuing to fight back in our efforts to re-establish balance and stability.”

The Secretary General commended the efforts undertaken by gas producers to reduce the natural gas stock overhang and alleviate market volatility in the wake of the COVID-19-driven drop in demand.

On the global energy mix, Barkindo stated: “Natural gas will be the fastest-growing fossil fuel between 2019 and 2045 and, after oil, will remain the second-largest contributor to the energy mix in 2045 at 25%.”

In the long term, the Secretary General emphasized that all forms of energy, including oil and natural gas, will be needed to support the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and meet future energy needs, adding that oil is forecast to retain the largest share in the energy mix until 2045.

The Secretary General also took the opportunity to reiterate the importance of reinstating robust, long-term investment in the oil industry, noting that the total required cumulative investments are estimated at around $12.6 billion through to 2045.

Barkindo recognized the rising importance of technology on both the demand and supply sides, noting its potential to improve efficiencies, provide cleaner end-uses of products, and enhance the environmental footprint, adding, “This will be key for an inclusive approach in enhancing the environmental credentials of the entire energy-mix.”

OPEC will also participate in the GECF Ministerial Meeting scheduled to take place tomorrow, 12 November 2020, at 13h00.

Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, OPEC Secretary General

Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, OPEC Secretary General