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21 Oct 2019

Third High-level Meeting of the OPEC-China Energy Dialogue

[Joint Conclusion] The Third High-level Meeting of the OPEC-China Energy Dialogue was held in Vienna, Austria on 21 October 2019. The Meeting was co-chaired by HE Zhang Jianhua, Administrator of the National Energy Administration, People’s Republic of China and OPEC Secretary General, HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo. HE Dr. Sun Xiansheng, Secretary General, International Energy Forum, also delivered some opening remarks.

The Meeting provided an excellent platform for knowledge exchange and the deepening relationship between China and OPEC, according to both parties. China is an essential trade partner for OPEC countries, the significance of which has grown greatly in recent decades, as well as being one of the largest and fastest-growing energy consumers. China has become the world’s largest importer of crude oil, acquiring the majority of its oil from OPEC Member Countries. Thus, a strong collaboration between the two parties is essential for the interests of both, as well as the global economy.

The Meeting discussed various topics intended to further advance relations between the two parties at both the high- and technical-level. It follows a technical meeting held between OPEC and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences on 11 October 2019 at the OPEC Secretariat in Vienna.

During discussions, HE Zhang Jianhua applauded OPEC’s ongoing efforts to stabilize the world oil market, adding that the OPEC Dialogues with China and other countries enhance both mutual understanding and global energy security. Furthermore, he stressed the importance of continuing to discuss issues related to the global oil market and energy security in future, and said the dialogue process provides solid groundwork for deepening cooperation.

OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo stated that China is a leader in managing the energy transition and energy diversity, and that the country will continue to play a critical role in overall future energy demand. He emphasized the necessity for open, transparent and regular dialogue, and the pooling of collective expertise, in order to maintain sustainable stability in the oil market, necessary for the development of all economies. In addition, the Secretary General said he hoped to see the important relationship that has developed through the OPEC-China Energy Dialogue process, which began in 2005, become deeper.

Discussions were held on the Charter of Cooperation, endorsed by 24 OPEC and non-OPEC producers at the most recent OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting in July 2019, as well as short-, medium- and long-term market developments and outlooks. It concluded with planning for future activities and the way forward.

Experts from China delivered presentations on the country’s oil and gas sector. They stressed the importance of OPEC Member Countries, which accounted for more than half of China’s total crude imports in 2018, in the crude oil import mix. In addition, they discussed developments related to the energy transition, including clean energy and the use of low-carbon fuels, as well as developments related to the Shanghai Future Exchange.

Concrete ways to advance a transparent and collaborative exchange for the mutual benefit of all were agreed upon and include:

  1. Further to the agreement from the Second High-Level Meeting of the OPEC-China Energy Dialogue, held in Beijing in December 2017, the parties have decided to strengthen cooperation between OPEC and China. This is considered necessary to improve timely and accurate communications; to aid in developing future outlooks required to overcome the myriad of growing market challenges; and to examine technological developments and their implications.
  2. Continuing the successful collaboration through, among others, internships, technical cooperation and joint studies.
  3. Maintaining channels of communication at all times and exchanging facts and data to lessen the impact of unforeseen events.

In concluding the High-Level Meeting, the OPEC Secretary General said: “Our growing partnership represents a win-win situation not only for us, but for the entire oil market and world economy. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of our dialogue in shaping future decisions on production and investment.”

The Fourth High-level Meeting of the OPEC-China Energy Dialogue is scheduled to take place in Beijing in 2020.