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Following its creation at the Baghdad Conference back in September 1960, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has now turned 60 years old.
“Few would have foreseen six decades ago that the organization would have risen to the heights it has today in the global energy arena,” OPEC said in a statement posted on its website.
“The 60th anniversary is a time to reflect and appreciate the efforts of all those who have worked so hard throughout our history to make OPEC the resounding success it has become,” OPEC added.
“Looking ahead, the organization stands ready to meet the many challenges we shall face as we enter the next 60 years of our history,” OPEC went on to say.
In the statement, the organization noted that it remains focused on a balanced and stable oil market in the interests of both producers and consumers.
Commenting on OPEC’s latest milestone, the organization’s secretary general, Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, said, “I often think back to that day in 1960, the mood in Baghdad, how those visionaries envisaged the future of OPEC and the oil industry”.
“What is clear is that what was set in motion has stood the test of time; OPEC still has the same core objectives, of order and stability in global oil markets, but its role has also broadened considerably, in terms of deeper cooperation with other producers, dialogue with a host of industry stakeholders, and an embrace of human concerns such as sustainable development, the environment and energy poverty eradication,” he added.
OPEC received congratulatory messages on its 60th anniversary from several people and organizations, including the chairman of Indian Oil, the Russian energy minister and the gas exporting countries forum.
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Focusing on OPEC’s 60th anniversary, IHS Markit oil consultant and analyst, Spencer Welch, said, “OPEC remains as relevant as 60 years ago”.
“OPEC’s role as the oil industry confronts the energy transition will remain important and challenging for many more years,” he added.
Welch highlighted that in its history, OPEC has faced many challenges, including wars and revolutions, but outlined that probably none were more challenging than this year’s pandemic, “when 25 percent of the world’s oil demand disappeared in a matter of weeks”.
“The fact that it has stabilized oil markets through 2020 is pretty remarkable,” he added.
Following the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the OPEC+ group agreed a production cut agreement of near 10 million barrels of oil per day (MMbopd). This has since been cut to 7.7MMbopd, a figure which is set to last until December 31, according to the group’s latest agreement.
OPEC’s five founding members comprise the Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. The group now has a total of 13 members, including Algeria, Angola, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Libya, Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates.
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