Stabilizing the international oil market and jointly facing the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic

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The FINANCIAL — The Fourth High-level Meeting of the OPEC-China Energy Dialogue was held by videoconference. The Meeting was co-chaired by HE Zhang Jianhua, Administrator of the National Energy Administration, People’s Republic of China, and OPEC Secretary General, HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo. HE Wang Qun, Ambassador of the Permanent Mission of China to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Vienna also attended the meeting and delivered opening remarks.

As OPEC notes HE Zhang Jianhua pointed out that China is the world’s largest oil importer and OPEC is an important partner on energy matters. Closer collaboration will benefit both sides and contribute to the long-term prosperity and sustainable stability of the global oil market. The two meetings between China and OPEC, held in October 2019 and May 2020, have laid a sound foundation for enhancing exchanges and deepening relations between the two sides.

HE Zhang Jianhua said that China has shown great resilience in its energy system. Electricity supply is secure and stable, oil and gas supply is sufficient, coal production is steadily rising, and energy services are effectively guaranteed. China is ready to work with the international community to tackle the challenge of the epidemic, uphold the trend of globalization and promote sustainable energy development.

HE Zhang Jianhua said China is committed to eradicating energy poverty and actively participating in international cooperation on energy access. China will also actively fulfill its commitment to carbon neutrality, promote energy transition, and proposed that the two sides strengthen knowledge exchange and coordination, expand and consolidate crude oil trade, and extend cooperation in the energy industry chain.

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HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo said that the year 2020 marks the fifteenth Anniversary of the OPEC-China Energy Dialogue. Over the years, cooperation between OPEC and China has intensified across a range of fronts, particularly on the technical level. Multilateralism, international dialogue and cooperation among nations have become more essential than ever. These are the principles that underpin the OPEC-China Energy Dialogue.

The Secretary General provided an overview of the actions taken by OPEC and the countries participating in the ‘Declaration of Cooperation’ in response to the unprecedented oil demand contraction due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He explained their subsequent modification at the 11th and 12th OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meetings held in June and December. These decisions have been pivotal in preventing further volatility in an industry integral to the global economy.

Ambassador Wang Qun stated that China will be one of the few major economies worldwide to experience economic growth in 2020 and the Permanent Mission of China in Vienna stands ready to contribute to the further enhancement of OPEC-Chinese relations.

Experts from both sides shared and exchanged views on the impact of COVID-19 on the global energy market, the ‘Declaration’ and ‘Charter of Cooperation’, China’s energy security supply and energy transition.

Both parties are committed to multilateralism and international dialogue to help overcome challenges in the market. Annual energy dialogue meetings will be held to facilitate an increase in the sharing of data, information and outlooks, especially on technological developments and implications. OPEC invited China to participate at the 8th OPEC International Seminar, under the theme ‘Towards an Inclusive Energy Transition.’ This invitation is extended to the NEA, as well as senior executives in Chinese energy companies.

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The Fifth High-level Meeting of the OPEC-China Energy Dialogue is scheduled to take place at a convenient time in 2021.

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