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Barkindo: Efforts to discourage oil exploration will cause energy crisis, insecurity

Barkindo: Efforts to discourage oil exploration will cause energy crisis, insecurity
July 05
23:11 2022

Mohammed Barkindo, secretary-general of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), says efforts to discourage oil exploration and development are bound to cause energy crises and undermine its security.

Barkindo said this on Tuesday at the 21st edition of the Nigeria Oil and Gas (NOG) conference and exhibition in Abuja.

He said geopolitics and regional alignments are hampering cooperation toward a connected global energy system. This, he said, was regrettable.

“Regrettably, we are seeing global energy cooperation becoming more fragmented. New regional alignments are threatening to reverse years of progress toward creating a more stable and interconnected energy system. We cannot afford to allow multilateral energy cooperation and global energy security to become collateral damage of geopolitics,” he said.

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Barkindo, in the same breath, refuted accusations by António Guterres, UN secretary-general, that OPEC was neglecting its responsibilities to address climate change challenges.

He said efforts to “unwisely encourage divestment” in the hydrocarbon industries were “unfortunately becoming more pronounced”.

“Last month, UN Secretary-General António Guterres suggested in remarks at a White House-sponsored event that our industry is ignoring its responsibility to address the climate change challenge and is undermining global climate policies,” Barkindo said.

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“Such misleading pronouncements are unfair to many of us in this industry who have dedicated ourselves to working towards inclusive, just, and sustainable solutions to the climate challenge. In fact, key stakeholders in the industry are participating in the intergovernmental arrangements and initiatives to develop, deploy and promote cutting-edge technologies to reduce emissions from the production and consumption of energy.

“The G7 leaders took a step in the right direction by recognising the need for continued investment in fossil fuels to help meet the world’s energy needs. It is imperative that they translate these words into policy actions that affirm the importance of a broad portfolio of energy options, including oil and gas, and support an investment climate that makes this possible.

“Inopportune remarks and efforts to discourage oil exploration and development are bound to sow the seeds of a more pronounced energy crisis and undermine global energy security. Moreover, they jeopardise efforts to achieve universal, reliable, and affordable energy access for people across the globe, including those in developing countries.

“Both the market and consumers deserve clear and consistent policies which recognise that oil is indispensable to global economic development and the world’s energy mix. Our industry cannot afford to sleepwalk into another crisis. It is of utmost importance that we seize opportunities to encourage world leaders to return to the roots and principles of the Paris Agreement. This means focusing on inclusive, party-driven negotiations and decision-making based on the science and data, not emotions and rhetoric.”

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The OPEC secretary-general further reiterated the importance of COP27, which will take place in Egypt later this year, in addressing such issues.

According to him, the event would be a prime opportunity for developing nations, including those producing oil and gas, “to make our voices heard”.

“This is a chance to return to a balanced and holistic process to address critical issues such as adaptation, mitigation, and the means of implementation, especially climate finance and technology,” he added.

“We also need more cooperation and financial firepower when it comes to tackling energy poverty.”

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