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Dr. Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo

IRAN - Diplomacy

Global Giant

Secretary General, OPEC


Dr. Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo was appointed to a three-year term as Secretary General of OPEC in August. He was educated at Ahmadu Bello University in Nigeria and Southeastern University in the US. He has a postgraduate diploma from Oxford University.

TBY talks to Dr. Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo, Secretary General of OPEC, on the importance of Iran's full return to the global oil market and the country's efforts to develop a sustainable energy sector.

How is Iran performing in its efforts to develop in a way that balances global overcapacity, whilst also allowing Iran to re-enter the world market?

Iran’s full return to the global oil market has been a welcome one. The country is a founding member of OPEC, it has vast hydrocarbons potential and excellent manpower, and its production and exports will evidently be integral to the future stability of an expanding global oil market. In September 2016, I met with the Honorable President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, HE Dr. Hassan Rouhani, as well as HE Eng. Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, Iran’s Minister of Petroleum. HE Dr. Rouhani told me that Iran had suffered greatly under sanctions and it was vital for the country to make up for its lost oil production, but he also underscored that OPEC has a responsibility to restore market stability, and that Iran would continue to support these endeavours. The proof of this came with the historic production adjustment decisions taken by OPEC and non-OPEC on November 30 and December 10, 2016, with Iran and HE Zanganeh playing constructive and vital roles in achieving the consensus decisions required to help bring forward oil market rebalancing and return sustainable market stability. I remain assured that Iran remains fully committed to the decisions taken by OPEC and non-OPEC countries at the end of 2016.

Which foreign expertise and strategies would best help Iran develop a sustainable energy sector?

Iran has the third-largest oil and the second-largest proven gas reserves in the world. It is a hydrocarbons giant, with tremendous opportunities for cooperation between Iranian companies and multinationals. How this evolves is a matter for the Iranian government and the Petroleum Ministry; however, there is no doubt than its longer-term development will depend on greater cooperation with international oil companies. I hope Iran will be able to reach agreements that satisfy all parties, one that enables Iran to expand its production and exports over time. This will not only be vital to Iran, but the global oil industry as well.



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