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C o m m e n t a r y

Relationships built to last

The new year got off to a positive start for OPEC

and its non-OPEC partners of the ‘Declaration of

Cooperation’ as the Joint Ministerial Monitoring

Committee (JMMC) gathered in Oman on January

21, 2018, for its 7



For this inaugural meeting of the new year,

the Sultanate of Oman graciously welcomed the

Committee’s members to its beautiful capital of

Muscat as official hosts of the meeting. Oman is

one of the ten non-OPEC participating countries

of the ‘Declaration of Cooperation’, and has a long

and rich history of collaboration with OPEC, span-

ning nearly three decades.

This issue’s feature coverage of the JMMC high-

lights this enduring relationship, which dates back

toMarchof 1986whenOman first attended anOPEC

Ministerial Conference as an observer at the 77


(Extraordinary) Meeting of the Conference held in

Geneva, Switzerland.

In his opening remarks at the JMMC, OPEC

Secretary General, Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo,

gave much of credit for this long-lasting friendship

to the country’s oil minister.

“The greatest highlights in Omani-OPEC rela-

tions have occurred in the last 20 years. This is

no mere coincidence,” he said. “This is because

of a very special gentleman, someone who we are

honoured to call our friend — Dr Mohammed bin

Hamad Al-Rumhy, Minister of Oil and Gas of this

great country.”

Oman’s historical support for OPEC has con-

tinued in this latest round of collaboration, the

‘Declaration of Cooperation’, as it has achieved one

of the highest levels of conformity with its volun-

tary production adjustments.

The OPEC-Oman relationship is a perfect exam-

ple of what can be achieved through long-term dia-

logue and cooperation. This was not a one-off col-

laboration to achieve a particular goal, but rather

a steady, long-term building of bridges, opening up

of communication and exchange of mutually ben-

eficial dialogue.

And, indeed, OPEC is hoping that these precious

bonds of partnership that have been forged through

the ‘Declaration of Cooperation’ will turn into long-

term working relationships in support of a sustain-

able stability in the global oil markets. Thiswill ben-

efit producers and consumers alike, while boosting

the world economy — it is a win-win scenario.

These sentimentswere echoed by both the JMMC

Chairman, as well as the Secretary General at the



Meeting of the JMMC.

“I believe that, going forward, we will all bene-

fit by further solidifying the JMMC platform, as we

must look beyond the short and medium term to

long-term stability in the market on a more sustain-

able basis,” said Khalid A Al-Falih, Saudi Arabia’s

Minister of Energy, Industry andMineral Resources;

and Chairman of the Joint Ministerial Monitoring

Committee. “That is likely to require building on

our current platforms and devising stronger mech-

anisms of data collection and ensuring their integ-

rity and consistency for all participants.”

In speaking to the press at the World Economic

Forum inDavos, Switzerland, the Secretary General

also proclaimed the benefits of institutionalizing

this cooperation.

“OPEC and non-OPEC cooperation within the

umbrella of the ‘Declaration of Cooperation’ will

go beyond the rebalancing of the oil market — we

want to institutionalize this relationship,” he said

during an interview with

Bloomberg TV.

It is clear that this new chapter of collaboration

in the international oil industry is on strong footing,

and the close bonds formed between OPEC and its

non-OPEC partners are here to stay.