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Experts assess energy future at Riyadh symposium

Saudi Minister of Energy Khalid Al-Falih at a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) at its headquarters in Vienna, in this file photo. (AFP)
RIYADH: Khalid Al-Falih, minister of energy, industry and mineral resources said that since energy markets are governed by more complexity, enhancing dialogue on probable energy pathways improves market transparency and brings the Kingdom closer to achieve goals together.
The minister, who is also the president of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Conference, was speaking at the 7th IEA-IEF-OPEC symposium on energy outlooks in Riyadh on Wednesday, according to a joint press statement, issued on Thursday.
The symposium — which was organized by the International Energy Forum (IEF), the International Energy Agency (IEA), and the OPEC — successfully concluded its sessions debating short- medium- and long-term energy outlooks and transport sector dynamics.
IEF Secretary General Dr. Sun Xiansheng, OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo and Dr. Kamel Ben Naceur, director, Sustainability, Technology and Outlooks, representing the executive director of the IEA, welcomed more than 120 senior government and industry representatives from energy producer and consumer countries on the inclusive and neutral platform the IEF provides.
Xiansheng in his address at the seminar pointed out that global energy security depends, more than ever, on enhancing commitment, reliability and trust. This can only be achieved by a vibrant energy dialogue on a global level.
Barkindo offered OPEC’s support to help improve the dialogue on energy outlooks by hosting a technical meeting with senior experts in advance of the IEA-IEF-OPEC meeting on Physical and Financial Energy Market Interactions taking place on March 16 in Vienna.
Naceur stated that the IEA was committed to continued collaboration aimed at providing transparency on the model assumptions underlying the energy outlooks and looked forward to continued discussions with the other partners and stakeholders on the implications of the different scenarios.
The IEA, IEF and OPEC agreed to maintain their efforts to enhance the comparability of energy outlooks in response to requests for more aligned baseline data on supply and demand where possible and to continue to facilitate wider understanding of the variations in outlook assessments. Industry and government representatives welcomed the comparative analysis of IEA and OPEC outlooks provided in the IEF-Resources for the Future (RFF) Introductory Paper to improve dialogue and engagement with all energy sector stakeholders.
Xiansheng moderated discussions of the first session with a focus on the latest OPEC and IEA energy outlooks and a comparative analysis of short- medium- and long-term energy outlooks released by the IEA and OPEC in 2016 provided by the IEF-RFF Introductory Background Paper.
Bahrain’s Minister of Oil Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al-Khalifa chaired Session II on Industry views on short- medium- and long-term energy outlooks, and Sudan’s minister of Petroleum, Mohamed Zayed Awad Mousa, chaired the final session on transportation.
To help place discussions in the context of global sustainable development goals and Paris Agreement pledges to limit global warming within agreed thresholds, UN Under Secretary General Shamshad Akhtar, who is also the executive secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), delivered a special address via her designated representative.
IEA and OPEC each year publish energy market outlooks based on the rigorous analysis of available statistical data, market fundamentals, macroeconomic developments, policy trends and assumptions. In addition, on the occasion of the biennial IEF ministerial meetings, both organizations present focused findings that they derive from their analysis and outlooks.
The 7th Symposium is part of a wider trilateral work program undertaken by the IEA, IEF and OPEC in recognition of mandates from the energy ministers of the IEF and G20 countries.
The underlying principle of the symposium is to improve transparency, and facilitate comparability among the various outlook scenarios, and help advance a data-driven and well informed producer-consumer dialogue.
In addition to the joint IEA-IEF-OPEC Symposia on Energy Outlooks, the joint collaboration involves high-level workshops on Physical and Financial Energy Market Interactions and Gas and Coal Market Outlooks.

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