Exclusive Conversation with the OPEC Secretary General

Published June 7, 2019 | 1 min read

Insights from our Global Energy and Power Conference

In his first major speech since the recent oil price downturn, OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo spoke exclusively to RBC Capital Markets clients via live teleconference with RBC Capital Markets' Helima Croft at the annual Global Energy and Power Executive Conference. His excellency seized the Mario Draghi mantle, attempting to assure nervous investors that OPEC had the resolve to do ‘whatever it takes’ to get the market back on firmer footing and that the producers were keenly aware of the challenges posed by the deleterious macro backdrop.

Over the past 30 months or so OPEC, along with its non-OPEC partners in the ‘Declaration of Cooperation’, have continually demonstrated our utmost commitment to do whatever it takes to balance and stabilize the oil market, in the interests of both producers and consumers,” said the Secretary General.  

According to a recent Bloomberg article on the conference, the 24-nation coalition of oil producers drawn from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and beyond, which includes major producers like Russia, has been keeping supply restrained since the start of the year to prevent the formation of a surplus. Despite their efforts, prices have faltered, with U.S. futures poised to enter a bear market.

The alliance, known as OPEC+, is due to gather in Vienna in the next few weeks to decide whether to prolong supply curbs into the second half of the year. While Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s biggest member, has recommended sticking with the strategy, there’s been less clear support from Russia.

“I think there will be stronger signals from Saudi Arabia that they will be aggressive to balance the market,’’ said Helima Croft, chief commodities strategist at RBCCM. ‘’I think the Saudis are very concerned about price.’’

Helima Croft

Helima Croft
Head of Global Commodity Strategy and MENA Research
RBC Capital Markets