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24 Apr 2017

OPEC Secretary General participates in 3rd GCC Petroleum Media Forum

OPEC Secretary General, HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, and an accompanying delegation took part in the 3rd GCC Petroleum Media Forum held in Abu Dhabi 19-20 April under the auspices of His Highness, UAE President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.

HE Mohammad Barkindo delivered a keynote speech at the Forum in which he reviewed the achievements of the production adjustment decisions taken in Vienna at the 171st Ordinary Meeting of the OPEC Conference on 30 November 2016 and at the OPEC/non-OPEC meeting on 10 December 2016 by OPEC’s 13 Member Countries, then joined by 11 participating non-OPEC nations.

“For the month of February, conformity to the adjustment stood at 94%, which was eight percentage points above the January figure – already, in itself, impressive,” he said.  He added that conformity for the month of March is expected to be more than the February figures.

In his speech, the Secretary General also thanked HE Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei, the UAE’s Minister of Energy, “for his skillful, persuasive and constructive engagements during the intensive negotiations” that paved the way for last year’s historic decisions.  “I am indeed very confident our collective action will continue to prove effective and bring us the results we are seeking,” he added.

After the Secretary General’s speech, a video was shown showcasing the first phase of the ‘Oil and Gas Big Data Project’, a joint initiative of the OPEC Secretariat and the UAE Ministry of Energy.  The project is aimed at developing a comprehensive, multi-dimensional and easy-to-use tool for analyzing publicly available oil and gas data.  According to the video, it will have the capacity to display raw figures, compare time series between countries, as well as flows and products.  The results of the first phase of the project are expected to be presented during the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition & Conference (ADIPEC) on 13-16 November 2017.

HE Mohammad Barkindo also took part in a session entitled “Managing the OPEC Message in the Digital Age of Disruption” during the first day of the Forum.

Joined by John Defterios, CNN Money’s Emerging Markets Editor, the Secretary General emphasized the need for positive working relations between the media and the Organization in a manner that it is both essential and mutually beneficial for both sides.  Calling on media outlets to report “accurately, fairly and responsibly on the Organization and its Member Countries”, he stressed that OPEC would remain transparent in its day-to-day operations and in its policy initiatives so that the media can continue to have ready access to OPEC’s information and decisions.

During the two-day Forum – which was attended by energy and oil ministers from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the host country, the United Arab Emirates – the Secretary General participated in meetings with HE Khalid A. Al-Falih, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy, Industry & Mineral Resources, and President of the OPEC Conference; HE  Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei, UAE’s Minister of Energy; HE Issam A. Almarzooq, Kuwait’s Minister of Oil and Minister of Electricity & Water; HE Dr. Mohammed Bin Saleh Al-Sada, Qatar’s Minister of Energy and Industry; HE Dr. Mohammed Al-Rumhy, Oman’s Minister of Oil and Gas; and HE Sheikh Mohamed Al-Khalifa, Bahrain’s Minister of Oil.

On the sidelines of the Forum, the Secretary General gave interviews to Bloomberg, Reuters, Sky News Arabia, CNBC International, the Associated Press, Platts, Energy Intelligence, the Arabic-Language London-based Al-Hayat newspaper and several other media outlets.  He briefed members of the press on recent developments in the oil market, provided updates on how the recent production adjustment decisions have contributed to the rebalancing of the oil market for the benefit of both consumers and producers, and gave an update on the most recent levels of conformity of those countries participating in those decisions.

Along with the ministers, the Secretary General attended a Gala Dinner on the first day of the meeting, which was organized to honour some of the distinguished journalists and media personalities who have contributed effectively to the excellence of GCC petroleum coverage.