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The Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) held the fourth high-level meeting of the GECF-OPEC Energy Dialogue at the GECF headquarters in Doha, the State of Qatar 

The Meeting was co-chaired by Mohamed Hamel, secretary general for GECF, and Haitham Al Ghais, secretary general for OPEC.

In his welcoming remarks, Hamel noted, “Since the previous high-level meeting held in Vienna on 10 October 2022, there have been many activities jointly undertaken, contributing positively to expanding our fruitful cooperation”. “It is of the utmost interest that the GECF and OPEC work hand in hand to face the challenges of the evolving energy landscape and seize the opportunities that lie ahead. We need to leverage our resources and expand our reach."

Al Ghais said, “OPEC remains fully committed to this cooperation with the GECF, and it will remain a high priority within the framework of our ongoing global energy dialogues. I believe that open and transparent dialogue with our industry partners is a win-win proposition as together we seek to address the complexities of the rapidly changing energy markets.”

The Meeting stressed the pivotal role of oil and natural gas in economic development and energy security. It emphasised that oil and gas currently represent 55% of the energy mix and it will maintain a majority share for decades to come. Moreover, oil and gas remain essential in meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 7 to ensure affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. This will require increased levels of investment in oil and natural gas.

Both leaders expressed their heartfelt congratulations to the United Arab Emirates, an OPEC and GECF member country, for the excellent organisation of COP 28, the record participation, and the consensual and positive outcome.  They reiterated that the oil and gas industry will play a constructive and critical role in sustainable development and poverty eradication, while contributing to a just, orderly and inclusive energy transitions, in particular through enhancing efficiencies and developing and deploying advanced technologies, such as carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS). They stressed that continued investment in oil and natural gas is essential to meet future demand and ensure global market stability. 

Al Ghais further said, “Both of our organisations must work together along with other key industry stakeholders to help promote investment-friendly policies. The fact is, without adequate levels of investment, the future of our industry is in jeopardy. Part of this effort entails ensuring a balanced narrative on energy transitions and, when necessary, correcting misguided messages related to both hydrocarbon fuels and our industry.”

Additionally, the Meeting highlighted the importance of data accuracy and transparency as well as the exchange of knowledge and lessons learned. Both organisations agreed to continue technical cooperation in these areas.

The Fifth High-level Meeting of the GECF-OPEC Energy Dialogue will be held in the second half of 2024.