The historic Extraordinary IEF Ministerial Meeting on 22 February 2011 in Riyadh, under the patronage of the Custodian of The Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, marked a new era of international energy cooperation built on greater mutual understanding and trust as attending countries sign the IEF Charter, demonstrating a significantly reinforced political commitment to an informal and open global energy dialogue in the framework of the IEF among energy producing and energy consuming countries, including transit States.
This Extraordinary IEF Ministerial Meeting was the final stage of a process that started with the landmark Cancun Ministerial Declaration approved by 66 countries at the 12th IEF Ministerial Meeting in March 2010. The Cancun Ministerial declaration addresses two main points: an enhanced IEF framework to strengthen the producer-consumer dialogue and ways to reduce energy market volatility.
The IEA/IEF/OPEC cooperation programme, which was included in the Cancun Declaration, covers a workshop on the linkages between physical and financial energy markets and a forum on regulation, which both were held successfully in London in November 2010, as well as a symposium on energy outlooks held in Riyadh on 24 January 2011. The IEA, IEF, and OPEC cooperation includes also activities on market data transparency, covering expansion of the Joint Organisations Data Initiative (JODI) to cover natural gas data and collection of annual data on investment plans. The three organizations also agreed to cooperate on G20 related activities and will be preparing a report on how to improve market data collected through JODI. Reports on IEA/IEF/OPEC joint activities listed above will be presented by the three organizations at this meeting, which will also be an excellent opportunity to discuss progress on and results of the IEA/IEF/OPEC cooperation programme and where needed, provide additional Ministerial guidance to the future work.
The Riyadh Ministerial also presented an appropriate opportunity to celebrate the 20 year Anniversary of the producer-consumer dialogue that started in 1991 in Paris.