Chinazor Megbolu |
The Secretary General, Oil Producing and Exporting Countries (OPEC), Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo has extolled the virtues of the Nigeria Oil and Gas Conference.
Barkindo, who participated in the 2020 edition of the Nigeria Oil and Gas Conference via video conference, was also elected as its Honorary Chairman.
The OPEC top executive in the course of the event listed the importance and timeliness of the event.
According to him; “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.
“The conference is “a legacy of the great minds of Nigeria’s Dr. Rilwanu Lukman and Venezuela’s Dr. Alirio Parra, of blessed memory”.
Barkindo lauded the President, Muhammadu Buhari and the country for positive contributions to the Organisation, the ‘Declaration of Cooperation’ (DoC) and the ‘Charter of Cooperation’ as well.
“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,” Barkindo said.
He added the efforts showed by Nigeria in curtailing the menace of Covid-19 pandemic on the country’s social and economic domains was laudable.
“The government rose to the challenge with virus containment measures, campaigns to sensitise the population to the devastating impacts of the pandemic, and in promptly providing much-needed stimulus to the economy.
“Nigerian crude oil export earnings plunged by 77 per cent within three months between January to April 2020, but since then they have gradually improved and rebounded by 116 per cent in November compared with April 2020 levels.
“The government should be applauded for its quick and robust actions,” he said.
Moreover, he also appreciated the decisions taken at the 12th OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting last Thursday, saying it showed that participating nation’s reaffirmed the group’s commitment to a stable oil market, along with the decisions adopted in April, June, and September 2020.
Barkindo buttressed 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 maintained that it was also agreed to hold the OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting on a monthly basis in a bid to closely review market conditions.
Barkindo, however, said that multilateralism, cooperation, dialogue, and commitment have become all-important in combatting the Covid-19 pandemic, saying the principles are also the pillars of the DoC, established December 10, 2016.
“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.
“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 per cent of global requirements in 2045.
“Our current assessments show that upstream capital expenditure could fall by more than 30 per cent this year, beyond the losses experienced in 2015 and 2016.
“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,” Barkindo said.
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