Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Al-Naimi, in his address in Paris today to the second international oil conference organized by the Institut Français du Pétrole (IFP), explained that recent developments in the oil market have provided both governments and industry with invaluable lessons. He noted that the 1998 oil price collapse in the wake of the Asian economic crisis not only proved the strong link between global oil demand and economic growth, but also affirmed, for the health of the world economy, the necessity of a stable oil market where supply and demand are in equilibrium. Production decrease initiatives early this year, he said, fall within this market-balancing endeavor in an ever-changing world economic environment, adding: "Our aim is to keep the market well supplied and prices at the desired average of $25 per barrel for the OPEC basket."
Minister Al-Naimi went on to advocate a holistic and balanced approach to the relationship between energy, the economy, and the environment, in order to attain sustainable development. He noted that events in the oil market and those concerning climate change over the past few years have proved the imperative of this balanced approach to the underlying issues.
He then highlighted the perspective of Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz in proposing the establishment of a permanent secretariat for the International Energy Forum in Riyadh, which has the purpose of fostering dialogue between oil producers and oil consumers on issues of common concern, including the interrelationship of energy, the economy, and the environment.