Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, the recently-appointed Secretary General of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), visited Paris on Friday to meet with Dr. Fatih Birol, the International Energy Agency’s Executive Director.
According to the joint statement by OPEC and IEA, the two men met to underscore their commitment to continued cooperation and exchange views on recent oil market developments.
The meeting took place about a month after Barkindo assumed office as OPEC’s Secretary General.
Barkindo and Dr. Birol, and senior delegations from both organisations, discussed the continuing cooperation between the IEA and OPEC, especially on market outlooks and transparency in the oil data and statistics. The visit builds on the growing dialogue between energy producers and consumers over the years, which is necessary to enhance stability, security and transparency in energy markets, said the two organizations in a statement.
Dr. Birol visited the OPEC Secretariat in Vienna in September 2015, shortly after he was appointed as the IEA’s Executive Director. More recently, in April this year, he hosted Mr. Barkindo’s predecessor, HE Abdalla Salem El-Badri, in Paris.
“I am very pleased to welcome Mr. Barkindo to Paris so soon after he took over the helm at OPEC,” Dr. Birol said. “He brings expertise, vision and many years of experience to his new role. His visit is an opportunity to trade views, discuss recent trends in the market and deepen the important ties that our two organisations have fostered over the years.”
Representing Nigeria, Barkindo was a pioneer member of the International Energy Forum (IEF). He has also been a strong advocate of OPEC advancing dialogue and cooperation among producers and consumers, and between OPEC and non-OPEC producers.
Dr. Birol, who began his career at OPEC before joining the IEA more than two decades ago, has emphasized that a healthy dialogue between the IEA and OPEC is critical to help guarantee energy security in an environmentally sound and economically sustainable way.