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22 Jun 2020

GECF and OPEC hold first Technical Meeting via videoconference

[Joint Press Release] OPEC Secretary General, HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, met with his counterpart at the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, HE Yury Sentyurin, for the inaugural Technical Meeting of the OPEC-GECF Energy Dialogue on 22 June, held via videoconference. The meeting builds upon the bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed last year.

The meeting reflected on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy as well as oil and gas markets. Exchanges were also held on medium- and long-term energy market assumptions and perspectives, and technical collaboration on data and statistics.

HE Barkindo briefed the GECF’s SG on recent decisions taken by participants of the Declaration of Cooperation at the 9th and 10th and 11th (Extraordinary) OPEC and Non-OPEC Ministerial meetings held on 9-10 and 12 April and 6 June 2020, respectively. These meetings decided to adjust overall crude oil production by 9.7 mb/d for May and June, 2020, with a further extension until the end of July agreed at the 11th meeting. Further adjustments are to take place for a total of two years under the initial agreement, until 31 December 2020 by 7.7 mb/d; and from 1 January 2021 to 30 April 2022 by 5.8 mb/d.

HE Barkindo spoke about the great many things the GECF and OPEC have in common, including many of the same member countries, the essential nature of both for the development of humankind and organizational goals.

“I believe there is a great deal that we can learn from each other,” said HE Barkindo.

HE Sentyurin thanked the OPEC Secretary General for supporting the building blocks of this mutually beneficial dialogue. He said that since HE Barkindo visited the GECF Headquarters in 2018, the cooperation between the two organizations has been developing incrementally. He recalled the signing of the MoU to “exchange knowledge, experience, views, information, data and practices in the areas of mutual interest,” last October on the sidelines of Russia Energy week, calling it a milestone between the organizations. HE Sentyurin added this 1st technical dialogue represents a “new chapter in our collaboration”.

GECF’s SG praised the joint work of OPEC and the GECF at various international fora, including the Joint Oil and Gas Data Initiative, the International Energy Agency and the International Energy Forum.

He stated in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent severe drop in demand for both oil and gas, “Maybe now it’s high time that the gas and oil industry implements the knowledge and solutions of the oil industry. To use the best practices demonstrated by your community.”

HE Sentyurin added that he saw OPEC as a model for GECF activities, and that the GECF has benefitted from an ever-strengthening exchange between officers of the two organizations.

The GECF Secretary General congratulated OPEC on its 60th anniversary, stating: “I wish you all the best for the upcoming glorious achievements of your Organization in the forthcoming period and congratulate you on your successful history.”