OPEC Secretary General participates in Nigeria International Energy Summit

Vienna, Austria, 28 February 2022--OPEC Secretary General, HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, participated virtually in the 2022 edition of Nigeria International Energy Summit (NIES), which is being held in Abuja between 27 February and 3 March.

The fifth edition of this prestigious event sees the participation of many ministers and senior officials, dignitaries, heads of international organizations, CEOs of national and international oil companies, industry experts and journalists.

HE Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria, was represented by HE Timipre Sylva, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, at the opening ceremony.

The Secretary General delivered a goodwill message at the opening ceremony and took part in a panel session titled ‘Revitalizing the industry, future fuels and energy transition.’ Both events took place today, 28 February 2022.

In the pre-recorded goodwill message, Barkindo thanked the Nigerian President for the instrumental role he has played in the Organization and the global energy industry.

“At OPEC, we very much consider President Buhari as one of our own. An OPEC veteran, who has been heavily involved in the Organization’s affairs for decades,” he said, adding, “The President has maintained an avid interest in our Organization and we all draw inspiration from his commitment."

The Secretary General continued by commending Nigeria’s leadership for enacting the Petroleum Industry Act.

“This long-awaited legislation for the oil and gas sector is bringing about the necessary reforms designed to strengthen institutions, solidify regulatory and fiscal frameworks and attract much-needed investment in a sustainable manner,” he highlighted.

Barkindo also praised the constructive and positive relationship between OPEC and the African continent.

“African countries have historically assumed strong, proactive leadership roles in OPEC. The strong bonds between OPEC and Africa reflect the critical role that the great continent, with its young, vibrant and talented population, will play in the future of the energy industry,” he noted.

OPEC has currently seven Member Countries from Africa, namely Algeria, Angola, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Libya and Nigeria.

During the panel session, the Secretary General, in pre-recorded remarks, emphasized the importance and relevance of the session’s theme, noting that “public discourse around energy, climate and sustainable development has become increasingly noisier and more forceful” in recent years.

Barkindo stressed that Africa possesses great potential, particularly an abundance of natural resources. He noted that the continent remains “relatively unexplored, with approximately 125 billion barrels of proven oil reserves and 16 trillion standard cubic metres of natural gas.”

On the energy transition, the Secretary General stated that “energy affordability, energy security and the need to reduce emissions require a delicate balancing act, comprehensive and sustainable solutions, and with all voices heard, and listened to.”

“Focusing on only one of these issues, while ignoring the others, can lead to unintended consequences, such as market distortions,” he added.

The Secretary General also underscored the importance of predictable investment and the right enabling environment in addressing global energy needs.

HE Sylva; HE Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Equatorial Guinea’s Minister of Industry, Mines and Energy; Joseph McMonigle, Secretary General of the International Energy Forum (IEF); and Dr Omar Farouk Ibrahim, Secretary General of the African Petroleum Producers’ Organization (APPO), were among the participants in the session.

OPEC’s Public Relations and Information Department is also participating at the event and is hosting a stand at the conference’s exhibition.

Nigeria joined OPEC as a Member Country in 1971. In 2021, OPEC and Nigeria celebrated the Golden Anniversary of Nigeria’s membership.

HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, OPEC Secretary General

HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, OPEC Secretary General

HE Timipre Sylva, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources

HE Timipre Sylva, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources