OPEC Secretary General, HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, paid a working visit to his home country, Nigeria, from February 25–March 3. This was his first visit since his assumption of the office of Secretary General on August 1 last year. During the visit he met with HE Professor Yemi Osinbajo, the Acting President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in Abuja, Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, as well as senior government and corporate leaders.
The Secretary General expressed his deep gratitude to HE Osinbajo for Nigeria’s steadfast support during the recent period of extensive consultations between OPEC and non-OPEC nations that led to the three historic decisions: the ‘Algiers Accord’, the ‘Vienna Agreement’ and the Declaration of Cooperation with 11 non-OPEC nations. The Secretary General also briefed the Acting President on the implementation of the decisions, as well as recent oil market developments and prospects.
In a keynote speech to the Nigeria Oil & Gas conference whilst in Abuja, the Secretary General also focused on these key oil market matters. He stressed that the landmark decisions taken last year were central to the market stability required by oil-producing countries, for their economic growth and development.
The Secretary General said that recent data confirmed that the OPEC-11 achieved a conformity level of 94% in January 2017, while together with participating non-OPEC producing countries the conformity level stood at 86%. He added that all 24 countries are committed to the process and are confident of further improvements to reach the full and timely conformity of the decisions taken.
The decisions, he said, have already positively impacted the market as seen by the onset of a more bullish sentiment among oil investors and the global oil industry, as well as a welcome spillover effect to the global economy with improved performance in some key industrialized countries. “These positive indicators”, he added, “are leading to better short- and medium-term perspectives for the market, in particular for investment.”
Looking longer term, the Secretary General said that “there is no doubt that oil will remain a fuel of choice for the foreseeable future.” He stated that oil demand is anticipated to climb to over 109 million barrels a day (mb/d) by 2040, an increase of 16.4 mb/d from 2015, and by then oil and gas would still satisfy 53% of the total primary energy demand.
In talking about the Nigeria Oil & Gas conference – the 16th edition – the Secretary General highlighted the importance of the event and the prestige it has brought to Nigeria over the years. He said the event was created through the vision and leadership of the late Dr. Rilwanu Lukman, then OPEC Secretary General, and the close collaboration that grew between Dr. Lukman and Dr. Alirio Parra, a former Minister of Energy & Mines of Venezuela, who is now Honorary Chairman of the conference.
The Secretary General also delivered a speech at an event hosted by Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, with invited guests including the Nigerian-based Ambassadors of the other 23 countries that were party to last year’s OPEC decisions and the non-OPEC Declaration of Cooperation.
The Secretary General said it was a “great honour” to speak to all those present, and specifically thanked Nigeria’s President, His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari and HE Kachikwu for their “support, guidance and encouragement”, in aiding OPEC and non-OPEC nations deliver the historic decisions that were taken at the end of 2016. He added that the “vision, leadership and courage” of all Heads of States and governments, oil ministers and envoys to the complex decision-making process meant that “we have turned a historic page in the global oil industry.”
He stated that “for the first time in the history of the industry, 13 OPEC nations and 11 non-OPEC participating countries, came together to help rescue and stabilize this strategic global industry – one that has been vital to the development of modern civilization.”
Accompanying HE Kachikwu and other high-level officials, the OPEC Secretary General also took a tour of the conference’s exhibition, visiting various stands, including the one occupied by OPEC’s Public Relations & Information Department.
Other Members of the OPEC delegation participated in the conference, with Dr. Hojatollah Ghanimi Fard, Head of the Petroleum Studies Department, moderating a session titled ‘Resetting Nigeria’s Oil & Gas Industry – Reviewing Global Trends’. The panel for the session also included Nadir Guerer, Senior Research Analyst at the OPEC Secretariat.
The OPEC delegation also made presentations on short-term oil market conditions, the long-term oil outlook, as well as an update on the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee and the Joint Technical sub-Committee, to the Ministry of Petroleum and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The Secretary General also visited his home town of Yola, where he was received by the Governor of Adamawa State, HE Mohammed Umar Jibrilla Bindow, and hosted to a Durbar by the Lamido of Adamawa, HRH Dr. Muhammadu Barkindo Aliyu Musdafa, the ruler of Adamawa.