Lagos — The Organization for the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, has eulogised the contributions of the European Union, EU, to ensuring the stability of the global oil market as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps across the market.
Secretary-General of OPEC, Mohammed Barkindo, while speaking at the 14th meeting of the EU-OPEC Energy Dialogue on Wednesday via videoconference, said EU’s cooperative efforts have provided a vital stabilising force in the oil market, and saved the industry from a near collapse in the wake of “Black Monday” on April 20, one of the worst oil shocks in history.
He said: “This energy dialogue with the EU dates back to 2005 and is the first energy dialogue that was established by OPEC to provide a platform for producer-consumer cooperation.
“In the years since, OPEC has expanded its portfolio to include dialogues with China, India, Russia, and the US, as well as with international organizations and global corporations”.
“These events have proven to be highly effective in promoting mutual understanding on key energy issues, while also enhancing our common efforts to tackle energy challenges, such as the current pandemic”.
“Commissioner, I appreciate the supportive comments you made during our last meeting in regards to the ongoing efforts of OPEC and our non-OPEC partners of the Declaration of Cooperation to rebalance the oil market and renew investor confidence in the energy industry”.
“These cooperative efforts have provided a vital stabilising force in the oil market, and more importantly, they saved this industry from a near collapse in the wake of “Black Monday” on April 20, one of the worst oil shocks in history. Without these sacrificial contributions of the DoC, the oil market would clearly be much worse off today”.
The effectiveness of this global energy cooperation, according to Barkindo, has been lauded at the highest levels of government and by the G20 Energy Ministers at their April and September meetings.
In addition, he said, the industry has benefited from the contributions of other producing countries that have voluntarily or involuntarily shut-in production.
“We have indeed come a long way in addressing this unprecedented global health crisis, but unfortunately, we are not yet out of the woods. There are still regional pockets around the world experiencing a resurgence in infections as winter approaches, and the spectre of renewed lockdowns is not out of the picture. These eventualities, if they materialise, would slow the process of economic recovery and the rate at which we see oil demand return to pre-pandemic levels,” he added.
Consequently, he enjoined world leaders to remain vigilant, and continue to seek a multilateral approach to addressing the pandemic.
“It is clear that full recovery to pre-pandemic levels of growth may take time and may only come to pass when ALL stakeholders do their part to help restore economic growth. This includes the potential financial stimulus measures that are being debated by various governments as a means to neutralize the economic fallout from this crisis”, he said.