It is a pleasure to welcome you all to this 6th International JODI Conference in Riyadh. I do so on behalf of the Secretariat of the International Energy Forum and our partners - the pioneers of JODI - the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC), the European Union through Eurostat, the International Energy Agency (IEA), the Latin-American Energy Organisation (OLADE), the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the United Nations through their Statistics Division. Together we cover the world. Most countries more than once.
A special welcome to H.E. Ali I. Al-Naimi, the Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, who has kindly consented to give the Inaugural Address to our Conference. And let me in advance also thank Minister Al-Naimi for the dinner that his Ministry will host for us this evening. Our gratitude also to Saudi Aramco for their financial contribution to this high expert-level event.
We are meeting at time of heightened energy consciousness around the world, a time of uncertainties and increasing interdependencies among nations. The policy tuning of one country to meet new challenges and to reduce its particular energy uncertainties can in itself exacerbate or create new uncertainties for others. Global producer-consumer dialogue acquires increasing importance as nations revisit and modify established policies, and shape new ones, in their quest for energy security. Governments of both energy-importing and energy-exporting countries as well as industry share a fundamental interest in having the best possible data and information at hand, when policy and investment decisions are made.
The Joint Oil Data Initiative is a concrete outcome of the producer-consumer dialogue. Co-ordination of this unique inter-organisational initiative is a flagship Secretariat activity. Our 6th International JODI Conference marks the first anniversary of the release to the public of the JODI World Database, which the IEF Secretariat is managing with input and support of our partner organisations. It was released in November last year by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia in the presence of Ministers of key energy producing and consuming countries and CEOs of leading national and international companies on occasion of the inauguration of our Secretariat headquarters.
Our Conference today and tomorrow gathers representatives of governments, international energy organisations, international and national energy companies, research institutes and consultants. It offers a timely and unique opportunity to assess progress so far, to identify areas and aspects that can be improved and to exchange views on the way forward. JODI is, indeed, work in progress. We our looking forward to the importance guidance that our discussions will give for this work in progress.
High Political Expectation
At the 10th IEF in Doha in April, Ministers of energy producing and consuming countries, industrialized as well as developing countries, reaffirmed their strong endorsement of JODI. As did CEOs of leading international and national energy companies, when interacting with Ministers in the preceding 2nd International Energy Business Forum.
Ministers confirmed their shared interest in reduced market volatility and prices at reasonable levels for both consumers and producers. They underlined the importance of transparency and exchange of data for market predictability and the investments required to enhance energy security and to meet the substantial increase in demand required for global economic growth and social development in the years ahead. Some Ministers called for JODI to be expanded, in due course, to include also other sources of energy important in the world energy mix.
A few months later, the G8 Heads of Government emphasized the importance of the producer-consumer dialogue in the IEF in their St. Petersburg Plan of Action on Global Energy Security. Also underscoring the importance of JODI, they pledged to take further action to improve and enhance the collection and reporting of market data on oil and other energy sources by all countries including through development of a global standard for reporting reserves. They invited the IEF to work on the expansion of JODI membership and to continue to improve the quality and timeliness of data.
Political support to JODI was also echoed last week by APEC and the G20
The IEF Secretariat and JODI partners are greatly encouraged by these high-level political endorsements. We are eager to respond to their high expectations. We take note of the political desire not only to improve and enhance JODI, but also to extend the initiative to other sources of energy and incorporating a common definition of reserves. The Secretariat will with JODI and other partners, notably the UNECE on reserves, explore how this political call might best be implemented. It would be useful to exchange preliminary views in the fringes of this JODI Conference as well.
Global and Regional Promotion
Against this backdrop of political expectation, the IEF Secretariat has presented JODI and its potential at several high-level international energy conferences this year. JODI partners held at a joint side-event at the 14th UN Commission on Sustainable Development in New York in May. The UNCSD is focusing on energy this year and next in light of the importance of sustainable energy for reaching the Millennium Development Goals.
The IEF Secretariat held, in cooperation with OLADE, the Government of Venezuela, PDVSA and our other partners, a regional training session for Latin American countries on JODI and energy statistics in Caracas in August. May I also use this opportunity to announce that the IEF Secretariat is coordinating a second regional training session, this time in co-operation with the UN Statistics Division for countries in Southern Africa. The Government of South Africa will host the event in Johannesburg at the end of January. We are envisaging additional regional training sessions next year also in other parts of the world.
We are happy to present to you today the first edition of the JODI Manual, just published, the objective of which is to help data providers of participating countries to enhance data quality, to disseminate the data transparency message and to clarify definitions and methodologies.
In conclusion, JODI is international ambition translated into action. It is a co-ordinated, inter-organisational response to the political call for the better data and increasing transparency that are important for investment decisions and energy security. And that also will strengthen producer-consumer relations in the years ahead. More than 90 countries, representing more than 90% of global oil supply and demand, are now submitting data to JODI. JODI has great potential. The submission of timely and accurate data by participating countries is crucial for its success.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, it is with great pleasure and appreciation that I now give the floor to H.E. Minister Al-Naimi. Doing so I would especially like to acknowledge his personal dedication and commitment to JODI and to the political level producer-consumer dialogue in the IEF, where Saudi Arabia is playing such a key role, not least as host country to the IEF Secretariat.