3 Nov 2020 20:42

World on verge of drastic changes to economic, technological order, expert exchange needs strengthening

MOSCOW. Nov 3 (Interfax) - The world is on the threshold of fundamental changes to the global economic and technological order; it is necessary to expand the practice of conducting joint research, moreover not only in the format of bilateral dialog but also in the framework of a broader, multilateral format involving external international experts, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said, opening the seventh meeting of the Russia-OPEC Energy Dialog.

"Such tendencies as digitalization of all main processes, broad implementation of artificial intelligence, robotics, and creation of 'smart cities' and 'smart grids' are changing the global energy landscape and means of producing and consuming energy," Novak said.

"In addition, this year was a real shock for all global economies, including in the oil sector. We see how difficultly recovery is going; we see many uncertainties that hinder a return to pre-crisis indicators for the economy and global crude oil consumption. Reduction of society's mobility, the population's transition online, and suspension of production have tested the stability of functioning of supply chains and global demand. We are seeing repeat large-scale lockdowns in a number of the biggest European states," he said.

Novak additionally said that the joint action of the OPEC+ countries on the oil market had opened up the opportunity of developing "bilateral cooperation, technological interaction, and implementation of joint projects for production, transportation, and processing of hydrocarbons in the territory of participant states and third-party countries."

"Russia is in favor of conducting regular expert events with the participation of OPEC+ representatives for discussing current tendencies of the development of global energy. We consider it important to establish the practice of conducting joint research; moreover, not only in the format of bilateral dialog but also in the framework of a broader multilateral format involving external international experts," he said.

"This could concern expanding the interaction of OPEC with the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), the first meeting of the Energy Dialog with which, as far as I know, will take place tomorrow. At present, the forum's expert potential is being formed and at the same time trends are observed and initiatives are being implemented for creating a global gas market," Novak said.

"Maintaining the mechanism of constant presence in the secretariat of a Russian representative will not only facilitate the exchange of experience but will also reflect our cohesion and common interests in the face of volatility of the global oil market. To reiterate, we aim to preserve the strategic nature of our interaction and deepen it for years to come," he said.

"This format of work is of particular importance for the whole of the oil sector, as both Russia and the OPEC countries play a substantial role in forming the global oil balance. We are major players on the global oil market and should conduct our policy based on a full, appropriate representation of its main characteristics, driving factors, and scenarios of evolution," Novak said.

He said that the participants of the Energy Dialog would hear estimates of the situation on the global oil market in the short, medium, and long-term. "Special topics of our consultations will be the challenges and opportunities ensuing from adoption of the Energy Strategy of the Russian Federation until 2035, as well as potential areas for organizing work under the charter of leading oil-producing countries," Novak said.