Verbal statement by OPEC Secretary General

Delivered by HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, OPEC Secretary General, at the International Monetary and Financial Committee Meeting, 8 April 2021, via videoconference.

Dear distinguished Members and Observers of the IMFC,

The global economy and, consequently, the global oil market are slowly emerging from one of the most severe crises in recent history, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, countries around the world virtually shut down, imposed travel restrictions and mandated social-distancing measures. These measures are still necessary in some regions to combat new waves of infections and virus mutations, with a recovery to pre-pandemic levels not yet projected for 2021. Following an estimated decline of 3.5% in 2020, the OPEC Secretariat forecasts global economic growth of 5.4% in 2021.

The measures to stem the spread of COVID-19 not only severely affected global economic growth, they also caused a historic demand shock in the oil market, which led to extreme volatility in oil prices. The impact of the lockdown measures has disproportionally affected mobility and thereby fuel demand. World oil demand is therefore estimated by the Secretariat to have contracted by a very significant 9.5 mb/d in 2020 and is forecast to grow by around 6 mb/d in 2021. Similarly, non-OPEC supply suffered from the unprecedented events and is estimated to have declined by around 2.5 mb/d in 2020, while it is forecast to grow by around 1 mb/d in 2021.

In response to the global crisis and the massive oil demand contraction, OPEC and 10 non-OPEC participating countries under the ‘Declaration of Cooperation’ (DoC) acted swiftly and decisively to contribute to more stability in the oil market, by voluntarily adjusting production. These are the largest and longest in duration in the history of the oil industry, lasting until well into 2022. A series of technical and ministerial Meetings of both the OPEC Conference and the countries participating in the DoC throughout 2020 and 2021 have successfully responded to market challenges and confirmed the commitment to sustainable oil market stability. These joint efforts succeeded in driving down the unprecedentedly high commercial oil inventories.

In closing, OPEC would like to take this opportunity to reaffirm its longstanding commitment to supporting oil market stability for the mutual benefit of consuming and producing nations, contributing significantly to addressing the common challenges to the global economy.

HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, OPEC Secretary General

HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, OPEC Secretary General