Remarks by the President of the OPEC Conference

Delivered by HE Dr Diamantino Pedro Azevedo, Angola’s Minister of Mineral Resources and Petroleum and President of the OPEC Conference, at the 13th OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting, 4 January 2021, via videoconference.

Your Highness,

Excellencies,

Distinguished delegates,

Good day, happy new year, and welcome to the 13th OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting.

It is a pleasure for me to chair this meeting, my first as President of the OPEC Conference, as we begin yet another new and very exciting chapter in the history of the Declaration of Cooperation.

Allow me to begin by thanking His Royal Highness Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Salman, Minister of Energy of Saudi Arabia, and Alexander Novak, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation for their inspiring remarks, their leadership and their tireless dedication to our cause.

I thank my predecessor as President of the OPEC Conference, HE Abdelmadjid Attar, Algeria’s Minister of Energy, for so ably guiding us through many difficult months in 2020.

I also extend a warm welcome to HE Dr Mohammad Alfares, Kuwait’s new Minister of Oil and Minister of Electricity and Water, and to thank his predecessor, Dr Khaled A. Al-Fadhel, for his dedication to OPEC and to the Declaration of Cooperation process.

I wish to express my appreciation to HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, OPEC’s hard-working Secretary General, and the entire staff of the OPEC Secretariat, for ensuring the full and efficient operation of the Secretariat throughout the past year.  I am aware that Vienna is now under its third lockdown and strict containment measures continue day and night.  The entire team at the Secretariat have carried out their duties with diligence and supported our meetings despite the challenging circumstances, and they deserve special commendation from us all.

Your Highness,

Excellencies,

Distinguished delegates,

My country, Angola, is one of the newest OPEC Member Countries, having joined in 2007.  By being part of the OPEC family, we have not only strengthened our capacity and expertise.  We have also gained stature and influence on the global stage.

Angola is proud to have engaged directly in the decision-making process that led our great Organization to expand the scope of collaboration through the Declaration of Cooperation.

The benefits of the Declaration of Cooperation were clear enough in the wake of the 2014-2016 market crisis – it helped restore market confidence and stability, and it paved the way for the Charter of Cooperation in 2019, giving us a new platform for collaboration beyond the important market-balancing process.

Last year, however, was truly a defining moment for our cause.

Since the decisive 10th (Extraordinary) OPEC and non-OPEC meeting last April, we have taken unprecedented steps to prevent a market collapse; restore stability; and breathe new life into the industry.  Rarely in the history of crude oil have we witnessed such swift, decisive and determined action to help put the market on the road to recovery.

I believe all the OPEC and non-OPEC countries here today can be proud of what we did – together – in the face of an unprecedented crisis.  World leaders, oil majors and energy stakeholders everywhere turned to us to take the lead.

And lead we did.

The past year has not been easy for any of us.  COVID-19 has been a blow to our economies; it has torn deep holes in budgets; it has significantly set back investment plans.  OPEC’s projections for 2021 – crude oil demand growth in the neighbourhood of 5.9 million barrels per day – are a welcome turn of events from last year’s market devastation.

However, with global demand expectations of around 96 million barrels per day, we are 4 million short of the Secretariat’s pre-pandemic projections for 202096 million barrels per day is a throwback to demand levels we saw in 2016, when the Declaration of Cooperation began.

I am reassured by signs that economic growth will resume, but there are risks that it could be uneven.

Our African economies, for example, lack the financial firepower to undertake stimulus programmes on the scale we have seen in other countries, particularly those in the OECD.  The storm surges of this crisis could be stronger in some regions than in others, and more long-lasting – thus creating uncertainties for oil demand.

Your Highness,

Excellencies,

Distinguished delegates,

As we start a new year, we also begin an important new phase in our production adjustments.  We are transitioning from managing the crisis to supporting the global recovery.

We have made impressive progress on conformity, with the overall conformity level standing at 101%, especially in the final quarter of 2020.  The strength of the Declaration of Cooperation, and of our efforts to support the market, depend upon 100% percent conformity and achieving compensation for overproduction.

We are here today because we recognize that the challenge is greater and inherently more complex than any single country, producer or company can shoulder.  We all stand to benefit when we stand together – and stay the course together.

I again want to thank the OPEC Secretariat for providing the most up-to-date data and technical coordination that enable us to make the right decisions, at the right time.

In closing, let me say again that Angola is proud to be a part of this market-leading effort and the contributions we are making, shoulder-to-shoulder with all the OPEC and non-OPEC participating countries.  We are working to help restore stability and confidence in the oil market not just for those present here today, but in the longer-term interest of consumers, investors and the global economy.

Thank you.

HE Dr Diamantino Pedro Azevedo, Angola’s Minister of Mineral Resources and Petroleum and President of the OPEC Conference

HE Dr Diamantino Pedro Azevedo, Angola’s Minister of Mineral Resources and Petroleum and President of the OPEC Conference