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29 Jun 2020

HE Barkindo participates in a webinar hosted by the Canada-UAE Business Council

Vienna, Austria, 29 June 2020--OPEC Secretary General, HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, together with HE Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei, UAE’s Minister of Energy and Industry, and HE Jason Kenney, Premier of Alberta, Canada, participated in a webinar dialogue session hosted by the Canada-UAE Business Council to discuss the ‘Energy issues in the post-COVID-19 world’.

The Canada-UAE Business Council has helped in facilitating long-term relationships and strategic initiatives among industry stakeholders.

HE Barkindo expressed his appreciation to Canada for its support in encouraging the energy dialogue, notably the recently held bilateral meeting with HE Sonya Savage, Minister of Energy for Alberta, to discuss oil developments against the backdrop of recent OPEC and non-OPEC meetings.

The Secretary General underscored the vital role of dialogue and cooperation in achieving sustainable stability in the oil market. He cited the impact and positive outcome of the OPEC and non-OPEC Declaration of Cooperation on the oil market as a stabilizing mechanism for the global energy industry.

“In these dire times of chaos and disaster, OPEC has managed to offer something that is a rare commodity today — hope”, said OPEC Secretary General.

UAE’s Minister of Energy and Industry, HE Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei, stated of the DoC decisions: “We were walking in a new land where we didn’t know what could be enough (in terms of production adjustments)...To get OPEC+ to so quickly agree to such a big adjustment never happened in the world.”

“Nobody could predict that the market could so quickly rebound to where we are today. Some thought (OPEC+ adjustments) were not enough. We were confident if we saw it through it would calm the chaos.”

“Our worry was not the price, but saving the whole industry, saving millions of jobs and investment. If we didn’t do it, we would have another shock down the road.”

Alberta Premier, HE Jason Kenney, said that being landlocked made Alberta’s oil industry particularly vulnerable when COVID-19 hit. “Thanks to OPEC for reaching out to us. We were able to open lines of communication, also with our neighbours to the south.”

Kenney said Alberta has a greater capacity to act because it produces 85% of Canada’s oil and has a mechanism already in place to curtail production, which has already been used since 2019 to shut-in 400,000 b/d due to transportation restrictions.

HE Kenney said particularly European investors are misinformed about Canada’s production. He said great technological progress has been made in reducing the carbon intensity of the industry, so that it has a lower footprint than other world producers of heavy crude.