Opening remarks to the 180th Meeting of the OPEC Conference

No 26/2020
Via videoconference
30 Nov 2020

Delivered by HE Abdelmadjid Attar, Algeria’s Minister of Energy and President of the OPEC Conference, at the 180th Meeting of the OPEC Conference, 30 November 2020, via videoconference.

Your Royal Highness, Excellencies, distinguished delegates,

It gives great pleasure to welcome you all to the 180th Meeting of the OPEC Conference.

I would like to take this opportunity to offer a very warm welcome to HE Ihsan Abdul Jabbar Ismaeel, Minister of Oil of Iraq, who assumed his new position on 7 June 2020. Excellency, on behalf of OPEC, we wish you great success in your important role and look forward to continuing to work closely with you. We would also like to extend our sincerest thanks to your predecessor, HE Thamir Abbas Al-Ghadhban, who has positively contributed to the work of the Conference and has been an untiring promoter for OPEC.

Excellencies, distinguished delegates,

2020 continues to be a year of immense challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to dramatic loss of lives and livelihoods. My thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost their loved ones.

The pandemic continues to rage with cases soaring in many regions around the world. It continues to affect adversely the global economy and, consequently, the world energy markets, in an unprecedented manner. The shock to the oil industry is massive and its severe impacts will likely reverberate in the years to come.

The global economy is still in deep recession with growth pegged at minus 4.3% for 2020. Global oil demand for 2020 is expected to decline by around 9.8 mb/d as the second wave of the pandemic and related lockdowns put a damper on demand.

Markets have reacted positively in recent days, as various pharmaceutical companies have made positive strides in the development and approval of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine. However, it is clear that a global deployment of vaccines will take time, and its effect will likely begin to be significantly apparent in the second half of 2021.

Excellencies, distinguished delegates,

The road to recovery is long and bumpy. It requires great patience. However, there are signs of light at the end of the tunnel. Next year, the global economy is forecast to return to growth, expanding by an estimated at 4.4%, and oil demand growth is expected to be high, in the tune of 5.9 mb/d. This brighter outlook for 2021 gives us a cautious optimism and is a clear indication that we are on the right path.

In this regard, OPEC continues to support the global oil market, in cooperation with its partner countries of the Declaration of Cooperation, which is now in its fourth year. When it has been signed in December 2016, no one would have imagined that DoC will last for 4 years, let alone be instrumental in coping with the biggest crisis that the oil market has faced since World War II.

Our combined efforts through the largest and longest production adjustment in history continue to provide a vital foundation of stability in the market at a critical moment in history.

The positive contributions of the DoC continue to be recognized by world leaders, who are highly supportive of our efforts on the global stage. The most recent example of this was at last week’s G20 Meeting where reference was made to the effective role of OPEC+ as a stabilizing force in the energy markets. The leaders emphasized the crucial need for stable and uninterrupted energy supplies to support the economic recovery and achieve a secure, sustainable and inclusive energy future.

Allow me to congratulate the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the leadership it has exhibited in steering the G20 through one of its most challenging years ever.

I also wish to express my gratitude to the Honourable Heads of Delegation that are members of the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee, to the Co-Chairs HRH Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Salman and HE Alexander Novak, to the members of the Joint Technical Committee, and to the able staff of OPEC Secretariat, led by the Secretary General, Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo.

Excellencies, distinguished delegates,

We have many critical matters to discuss today as we seek to do what is best for our Member Countries, for the industry and for the global economy. As always, the world’s attention will be focused on us today and our decisions will be awaited with much anticipation.

But, let us take pause for a minute, step back, and remember that this is a monumental year for OPEC as we celebrate the 60th Anniversary of our founding in Baghdad in 1960.

In these 60 years, OPEC has been through thick and thin. Through ever-evolving oil market cycles, OPEC has risen to mountain peaks and has experienced the depths of deprivation. But three words could describe this Organization’s trajectory through it all: resilience, commitment and perseverance.

Resilience to repeatedly rise from the depths brought on by challenging times, an unwavering commitment to the goals of oil market stability in the interest of producers, consumers and the global economy, and perseverance in implementing our decisions despite the difficulties.

As we reflect back on this rich history, let us be proud of where we have been, fully confident in who we are today and optimistic that OPEC’s brightest days are still to come.

Excellencies, I wish us all very productive discussions today.

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