OPEC, Hector Igbikiowubo
26 October 2016, Sweetcrude, Vienna, Austria — Dr. Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo, the Secretary-General of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC has disclosed that the Reference Basket price of the group fell by 80% over the last two years.
He made the disclosure when he and a delegation from the OPEC Secretariat, met with Jabbar Ali Hussein Al-Luiebi, Iraq’s Minister of Oil, and other senior officials in Baghdad.
He explained that the 80 percent drop in OPEC’s reference basket price occurred between June 2014 and January 2016. It is, he added, “the largest percentage fall in the six cycles of sharp price declines that have been observed over the past three decades”.
Dr. Barkindo also stressed that it was important to recognise that the current oil cycle has led to a dramatic drop-off in oil market investments. He said that global exploration and production spending fell by around 26% in 2015 and a further 22% drop is anticipated this year, which overall equates to over $300 billion.
“Your visit comes at a time when Iraq is working hard to develop its oil industry, while at the same time, fighting terrorism and achieving victories against ISIS in Mosul and other places in Iraq,” Mr. Al-Luiebi said while welcoming Dr. Barkindo and those on his entourage.
Al-Luiebi also reiterated Iraq’s support for OPEC in the current oil market environment. He pledged that Iraq would continue to back the OPEC Secretariat and work together with Member Countries, as well as non-OPEC countries, to help stabilise and bring balance to the oil market.
Responding, Dr. Barkindo expressed his happiness to visit Iraq, the birth place of the OPEC and the cradle of ancient civilisations. He stated that Iraq has played, and continues to play an important role alongside other member countries in helping achieve the stability that all producers, as well as consumers, desire.
Later in the day, Dr. Barkindo met with the leader of the Shiite Alliance, the largest Iraqi parliamentary bloc, and head of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI) Ammar Al-Hakim.
The Secretary-General will hold further talks with Prime Minister of Iraq, Dr. Haider Al-Abadi, on Wednesday and pay a courtesy call on the President of Iraq, Dr. Fuad Masum.
Secretary General Barkindo is expected to visit Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates early November in continuation of the extensive consultations post-Algiers Accord.