Uncertainties, hurdles and opportunities
Uncertainties loom large
There continue to be many hurdles for the oil and energy industries to overcome. There is the lower oil price environment and market instability, which creates economic hardship and uncertainty for oil producing countries in their efforts to make appropriate and timely investments. This, in turn, could have a potential knock-on effect for consuming countries. In terms of economic growth, there are numerous uncertainties that could lead to varying outcomes for the global economy. As always, the uncertainties associated with energy and environmental policies at national and international levels cloud the long-term outlook for energy demand and supply.
Another major determinant with the potential to significantly alter the oil and energy landscape is technological progress, both on the demand and supply side. In the downstream sector, the response of refiners to the need for capacity rationalization, changes in the future crude slate quality, regulations concerning product quality specifications and the development of additional routes for oil movements, among others, will significantly affect the industry.
In spite of the challenges and uncertainties, the energy industry’s history of resilience and its innovative nature can help to weather future storms and deliver the energy required for the improvement of the world at large.
Producer-consumer dialogue remains paramount
OPEC continues to be focused on the strengthening of current partnerships and the development of future opportunities for cooperation. Several dialogues have been held over the past year, the result of the Organization’s determination for engagement. These include with organizations like the International Energy Agency, the International Energy Forum, the Joint Organisations Data Initiative programme, the Vienna Energy Club and the G20. Dialogues were also held with China, India, the European Union and Russia. Moreover, cooperation between producers and consumers is appreciated for its ensuing benefits to all parties involved and for its contribution to achieving market stability.