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08 Dec 2020

OPEC Secretary General participates in Nigeria Oil and Gas Conference

Vienna, Austria, 8 December 2020--OPEC Secretary General, HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, participated in the 2020 edition of the Nigeria Oil and Gas Conference via videoconference.

The conference elected the Secretary General as its Honorary Chairman.

Barkindo highlighted the importance and timeliness of the event, noting, “This conference has evolved over many years, rising in prestige and prominence. Today, it is a crucial event on the energy calendar, for Nigeria, for Africa, and for the world,” adding that the conference is “a legacy of the great minds of Nigeria’s Dr. Rilwanu Lukman and Venezuela’s Dr. Alirio Parra, of blessed memory.”

The Secretary General also expressed appreciation to Nigeria and its able President Muhammadu Buhari for positive contributions to the Organization, the ‘Declaration of Cooperation’ (DoC) and the ‘Charter of Cooperation’.

“Nigeria is a highly valued member of OPEC, and has significantly contributed to rebalancing the market, including through its relentless support of the Declaration of Cooperation since its inception,” he said.

The Secretary General also lauded the efforts exerted by Nigeria in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic and its devastating effects on the country’s social and economic domains.

“The government rose to the challenge with virus containment measures, campaigns to sensitize the population to the devastating impacts of the pandemic, and in promptly providing much-needed stimulus to the economy,” he said.

In regard to Nigeria’s petroleum sector, the Secretary General noted: “Nigerian crude oil export earnings plunged by 77% within three months between January to April 2020, but since then they have gradually improved and rebounded by 116% in November compared with April 2020 levels. The government should be applauded for its quick and robust actions.”

On the global oil market, Barkindo underscored the efforts undertaken by OPEC Member Countries and non-OPEC countries participating in the DoC, particularly during the current unprecedented challenges.

The Secretary General also commended the decisions taken at the 12th OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting held last Thursday, which witnessed participating countries reaffirm the group’s commitment to a stable oil market, along with the decisions adopted in April, June, and September 2020.

Barkindo highlighted that the meeting agreed to voluntarily adjust oil production by 0.5 mb/d from 7.7 mb/d to 7.2 mb/d as of January 2021, based on market developments. He added that it was also decided to hold the OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting on a monthly basis to closely review market conditions.

The Secretary General noted that multilateralism, cooperation, dialogue, and commitment have become all-important in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that these principles are also the pillars of the DoC, which was established on 10 December 2016.

Barkindo also welcomed recent developments regarding COVID-19 vaccines. “The year 2021 looks brighter, with preparation underway for widespread delivery of COVID-19 vaccines. Once this process is in motion, the global economy and oil demand are expected to progress in leaps and bounds,” he said.

On the global energy mix, the Secretary General noted: “The petroleum sector will remain the secure base in meeting global energy needs. … We expect oil to retain the largest share of the energy mix throughout the forecast period, providing nearly 28% of global requirements in 2045.”

Barkindo concluded by echoing the importance of stimulating investment in the oil sector in the interest of future energy security and sustainable supply.

“Our current assessments show that upstream capital expenditure could fall by more than 30% this year, beyond the losses experienced in 2015 and 2016,” he said, adding, “OPEC’s World Oil Outlook shows that $12 trillion will be needed between now and 2045 in the upstream, midstream and downstream. We are alarmed at the pull back of capital from the industry.”