The secretary general of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, on Monday exuded confidence that there is an economic as well as oil and gas demand recovery around the corner amid the development of vaccine for COVID-19. However, he noted that currently, the demand recovery is not robust at the moment due to the impact of the virus across the globe.
Speaking at the India Energy Forum by CERAWeek, Barkindo said, “We remain cautiously optimistic that recovery will continue. It may take longer, may be at lower levels. But, we are determined to stay the course.” About the oil and gas sector, he said hydrocarbons would dominate the energy basket as projected in the OPEC outlook for 2020 with a horizon of 2045. He said, “In our outlook for 2020, the fundamentals look upwards and positive. The demand will continue to grow not only for energy well right up to 2045, we postulate that oil and gas will continue to dominate the energy basket.” According to the outlook, the oil will be in the region of 28 per cent (in energy basket) up to 2045.
He added, “We don’t see peaking of (oil) demand. But, we see deceleration of growth rate of demand.” His views assume significance in view of the crude oil price crash in April this year amid the COVID-19 outbreak. He said, “Both economic growth as well as demand recovery remained anemic at the moment due to largely this virus. Now, we remain hopeful that the governments around the world have learnt the lesson from what transpired in the second quarter of this year (April-June 2020).” The OPEC secretary general noted that the development of vaccines is continuing around the world with some candidates having good prospects of coming to the market as soon as possible.
“Therefore, we don’t expect a relapse to massive contraction that we saw in the second quarter (April-June 2020),” he added. On the climate change issue, he said it could be done by using technology, appropriate polices, decisions of government and corporate organisation.