The forum is tagged: “Oil and Gas Investments: The Future of Fossil Fuels Amid the Quest for Decarbonization.”
Barkindo in a keynote address, which was made available to journalists in Abuja, said that OPEC would remain focused on energy supply despite the crisis between Russia and Ukraine and the COVID-19 pandemic that had adverse effects. in world energy markets.
Dr. Mohammad Barkindo, Secretary General of OPEC at the Nigerian Energy Forum (CERA Week Agenda 2022) in Houston, Texas.
“Over the last ten days, we have seen an increase in geopolitical tensions, which are still developing and have adverse effects on energy markets around the world, resulting in elevated levels of volatility.
“The tensions have spooked investors and rattled commodity markets. We recognize this and are following developments very closely.
“Our hope in this crisis is that all parties involved can achieve positive outcomes that are acceptable to all,” he said.
Barkindo noted that the COVID-19 pandemic taught OPEC the value of taking a cautious approach to oil supply and demand developments.
According to him, this must be done with the flexibility to adapt strategies when necessary, ultimately for the well-being of the global community.
As for the market outlook for 2022, the general secretary said that there was clearly some optimism, but he was also aware that uncertainties remained and volatility further complicated.
According to him, optimism is being fueled, although this needs to trickle down to more developing countries, improving mobility and continued economic recovery.
“Uncertainties relate to COVID-19 developments, although at present we see the impact of the Omicron variant on the oil market as relatively mild and short-lived.
“In addition, the aforementioned geopolitical challenges, global supply chain issues, the potential effects of rising inflation, the consequent rise in interest rates, and the collateral impacts of challenges in the gas, coal, and electricity must be closely monitored,” he said.
Speaking on the topic of the session, he said that the unpredictability and volatility caused had intensified discussions related to climate change and the energy transition.
This, Barkindo said, was made clear at the 2021 COP26 meeting in Glasgow, Scotland.
He listed a series of positive results, such as the return of the US to the head of the multilateral table, the commitment of all Parties to the implementation and full operation of the Paris Agreement, and the announcement of the Glasgow Climate Pact.
He said all of this was encouraging, given the pressing need to reduce global emissions, alleviate energy poverty, counter the impacts of the pandemic and find a sustainable way forward without leaving any country, industry or people behind.
In addition, he said he was seeing investors, environmental lobbyists and some corporate boards pressuring oil and gas companies and governments to pursue increasingly radical policies and initiatives that could be more disruptive than productive for the global energy industry.
“There have recently been calls for investments in new oil and gas projects to be put on hold, particularly in the context of discussions of net zero targets. This is wrong again.
“We understand the move by many developed nations to set net zero emissions targets. Several developing nations have also done so. In fact, some OPEC member countries, including Nigeria, have made political promises of net-zero emissions.
“However, it is important to appreciate the massive challenges for developing countries to reach net zero emissions, many of which are highly focused on priorities such as access to energy, living wages and the provision of basic needs.
“We must continually bear in mind that access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy is a right for all, not a privilege for the few, and is enshrined in Sustainable Development Goal Seven,” he said.
According to him, the unfortunate reality for developing countries is that a staggering 759 million people worldwide did not have access to electricity in 2019, with around 79 percent of them located in Africa.
In addition, he said that there were approximately 2.6 billion people or 34 percent of the world’s population who did not have access to clean cooking technologies and fuels.
This, he said, included a massive 70 per cent Africans, exposing them to high levels of household air pollution.
Furthermore, it revealed that from a Nigerian perspective alone, in 2019, only 55% of the population had access to electricity and only 13% had access to a clean kitchen.
He recalled that in the energy poverty debate, Africa was still relatively unexplored in terms of oil and gas.
According to him, this despite having approximately 125 billion barrels of proven oil reserves and 16 trillion standard cubic meters of natural gas.
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