OPEC visits Angola: Oil market stability essential to fighting poverty

The oil industry has entered a “new world of energy” marked by historic cooperation between oil producing countries and consistent market stability, said H.E. Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, Secretary General of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Luanda this week.

Barkindo, talking during OPEC’s mission to Angola on Tuesday, highlighted the importance of the Declaration of Cooperation — initially signed in 2016 by 24 OPEC and non-OPEC countries — which reduced oil production and returned stability to volatile markets. The current deal, renewed this month, includes 25 countries and a pledge to reduce global crude oil output by 1.2 million barrels of oil per day.

Read H.E. Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo’s full speech in Luanda here.

Barkindo praised Angola’s new leadership under President João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço and the country’s reforms, citing Angola improved “efficiency and effectiveness”.

Additionally, Barkindo credited Angola — which joined OPEC in 2007, the first country to do so since Nigeria in 1971 — with kickstarting OPEC’s more open philosophy.

“Angola’s membership after a 36-year hiatus on expanding the Organization, proved that reaching out and embracing new partners yields results … history will conclude that Angola joining the OPEC family was a precursor to membership of our Organization increasing, a strengthening of the African voice in our decision-making structures and this new era of cooperation among oil producing countries through the Declaration of Cooperation,” Barkindo said.

The secretary general also seemed to push back against criticisms of OPEC’s control of the market (such as from US President Donald Trump who has called for an end to the OPEC-led production cuts), saying OPEC has reacted to the needs of both consumers and producers and is providing a foundation for the success of the global economy.

“Such is the importance of oil that it plays an indispensable role in lubricating economic growth, sustainable development and improving the livelihoods of billions of people around the globe. Oil market stability begets prosperity; it is an essential component in fighting poverty. The multiplier effects of oil market stability are immense for other industries and the global economy,” he said.

“OPEC does not seek stability for stability’s sake: rather we are acutely conscious of the broader social and economic benefits for all which come as a result of sustainable oil market stability.”