VIENNA: Secretary-General of OPEC Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo said investment in the global oil industry dropped by nearly 30 percent this year, even more than in the 2014-2016 downturn, from which the industry was still recovering when COVID-19 struck. “The oil industry requires $12.6 trillion in investment to reduce volatility and avoid a possible future energy crisis,” he said in an address to the Eighth Technical Meeting of the OPEC and non-OPEC countries of the Declaration of Cooperation (DoC). The meeting is being held via teleconference in preparation for the 180th Meeting of the OPEC Conference and the 12th OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting, scheduled on 30 November and 1 December, respectively. In his remarks, Barkindo acknowledged the key role played by the DoC technical meetings in providing OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meetings with reliable and accurate analyses, which form a crucial foundation for decision-making. The Secretary-General highlighted the need for ongoing cooperation and dialogue during the COVID-19 pandemic, noting, “We are facing a resurgence of the pandemic, which is locking down countries and regions once again. And once again we must keep moving forward.” In this context, the Secretary-General commended the efforts undertaken by the DoC participants to support oil market stability, stating, “The successes to date have called for great patience, endurance and unwillingness to give up, values strongly displayed by our DoC Countries over these past months. I congratulate you for the fruits of your labor so far.”
On the recent COVID-19 vaccine development, Barkindo said, “The perspective of vaccines coming to the market has urged on positive sentiment. Yet, we must continue to hold our ground until these are able to knock down infection rates. We are still in the thick of this disaster.” Barkindo also addressed the devastating impact of the pandemic on the world economy and the global oil market, noting that investment in the oil sector has declined tremendously. He praised the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its exemplary leadership of the G20 during a period of unseen challenges and volatility related to the pandemic. He highlighted that the G20 has been instrumental in fostering dialogue, cooperation and multilateralism to underpin the recovery process and help support a sustainable energy future.
The Secretary-General concluded by stressing that in OPEC’s 60th Anniversary year, the Organization has demonstrated unparalleled resilience during difficult times, affirming its relevance and necessity. The technical meeting provides OPEC Member Countries and non-OPEC participants of the DoC with a platform to connect on technical issues and share data insights, thus deepening bonds with one another and mutual understanding of the issues facing the world oil market. – KUNA