NEW YORK, 17th December, 2016 (WAM) — With the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Reference Basket falling by 80 per cent between June 2014 and January 2016, Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, Secretary-General of OPEC, has termed the current cycle of the oil industry as the ‘worst’ to date.

Speaking at the Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy (CGEP) in New York on 15th December, on the fourth day of his visit to the United States, Barkindo expressed the need for the oil market to rebalance in order to reduce price volatility and support future investment, adding that the recent decisions by OPEC and non-OPEC countries on output adjustments will bring the rebalancing process forward much sooner.

He spoke about the extensive consultations which took place with OPEC and non-OPEC countries that led up to the historic Algiers Accord at the 170th Extraordinary Meeting of the OPEC Conference, held on 28th September in Algiers, Algeria.

The Algiers Accord, in turn, he explained, led to the ‘Vienna Agreement’ decided upon at the 171st Meeting of the OPEC Conference on 30th November in Vienna, at which OPEC Member Countries decided to cut their oil output by 1.2 million barrels a day (mb/d), effective from 1st January 2017. This was followed by a meeting held in Vienna on 10th December, at which OPEC ministers met with ministers and officials from non-OPEC countries, which resulted in 11 non-OPEC countries agreeing to reduce their respective oil production by almost 600,000 barrels a day.

Barkindo’s week-long visit has included meetings with the International Monetary Fund, the Inter-American Development Bank, the United States Energy Information Administration, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Columbia University Center on Global Energy Policy, major stakeholders in financial markets, and IHS/Markit.