14 Jan 2018 - 14:39
Qatar will continue to support oil output cut
DOHA: Minister of Energy and Industry H E Dr Mohammed bin Saleh Al Sada has emphasised that Qatar supports the continuation of work on the “declaration of cooperation” between members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) and producers outside of the Organization on reducing their oil production.
On the developments in the global oil market since the Vienna agreement and the trend of oil prices to rise, Dr Al Sada said that “the agreement proved to be in the right direction”. The balance of supply and demand, in addition to the level of the world’s stock, together constitute the main factors that Opec and the countries participating in the agreement to decide based on the continuation of work with it, he said in an exclusive interview to QNA.
If the level of oil reserves returned to balance, or to the average of the last five years, whether this is achieved by the next Opec meeting in June, or at the time determined by market developments, then only a safe agreement should be initiated commensurate with market conditions then. “So we think it is premature to put forward an idea of a strategy to terminate the agreement at the current stage.”
On whether efforts made by Qatar during the period of its chairmanship of the Organization of Petroleum Producing States (Opec) resulted in the achievement of a reduction of production between the member states of the Organisation and a number of producing countries from outside, the Minister noted that the historic agreement came as a direct result of the great and continuous support and wise policy of the Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, which earned Qatar the confidence of the Opec member states and beyond who expressed great appreciation for Qatari diplomacy.
During the years 2015 and 2016, Qatar had made great efforts to coordinate positions and bring together views, which has been accepted by the international community, especially the oil-producing countries within the Organization and participants countries from outside Opec in the agreement and contributed to the historic decisions of Vienna, which showed the world that Opec has taken on the responsibility to rebalance the market and reduce the global surplus of oil to serve the global economy and producing countries and consumers alike, the Minister said.
Dr Al Sada pointed out that these decisions have been preceded by a number of formal and informal consultative meetings and shuttle visits made by Qatar, most notably the four-way conference in Doha in February and the April 2016 meeting in Doha, which brought together 16 countries from within and outside Opec on one table for the first time in years, as well as other meetings on several levels.
One of the most important of these meetings was the Algiers meeting held in the sisterly Republic of Algeria on the sidelines of the World Energy Forum, where it began as an informal consultative meeting, where an agreement was reached on the road map to achieve the common goal. It was decided unanimously to turn that meeting into an extraordinary formal meeting of the Organization, which was given a historic agreement later known as the “Algiers Agreement”.
He noted that the agreement was agreed upon by a group of countries with different orientations and interests from different corners of the globe, and proved that multilateral international agreements are still possible through positive diplomatic initiatives that may help resolve many international issues. It also contributed to building bridges of trust between the two sides, to reach the common goal of ensuring the stability of the market in the interests of all.
The last such meeting was held in Doha on November 17, 2016, in which States from both within and outside the Organization participated and contributed to bringing together views and understanding of positions, and thus led to the possibility of reaching a historic declaration of cooperation a few weeks later in Vienna, Dr Al Sada added.