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Welcoming Remarks - 5th IEF Energy Lecture

3 November 2007

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

By Ambassador Arne Walther, Secretary General (2003-2007)

It is a pleasure for me, on behalf of the IEF Secretariat, to welcome you to our Headquarters for the 5th IEF Energy Lecture. We are honoured to have with us today Mr. Guy Caruso, the Administrator of the EIA, the Energy Information Administration of the Department of Energy in the United States. He will share with us his 'International Energy Outlook' at a time when energy security tops the political agenda worldwide and oil prices are constantly reaching new nominal highs. A time of many energy and environmental uncertainties.

Mr. Caruso is a man worth listening to. What he says, and the figures published by the EIA every week, have immediate impact on oil prices. If anyone has a crystal ball looking into the energy future, he must certainly be one of them.

He will present the EIA's 2007 Outlook published in May this year. The EIA is a statistical agency within the Department of Energy that provides policy-independent data, forecasts and analyses regarding energy.

Mr. Caruso's presentation will include trends in fuel consumption, the mix of fuels for electricity generation, and sources for oil and natural gas production, highlighting some differences between the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries and non-OECD countries. He will also discuss the co-operation required by international energy organizations to improve the transparency of world oil data, illustrating the Joint Oil Data Initiative, coordinated by the IEF Secretariat with the support of APEC, European Communities, IEA, OLADE, OPEC and the UN, as a successful collaboration of international energy organizations to improve the availability of timely, high-quality energy liquids statistics worldwide.

As those of you who have attended previous lectures will know, we have established this series of IEF Energy Lectures to offer Ministers, Heads of International Organisations, CEOs and other energy personalities, when visiting Saudi Arabia, a global platform from which to make major policy speeches. This activity is one of the platforms provided by the Secretariat in its mission to give input to and strengthen the political level dialogue in the International Energy Forum. As is the custom, Mr. Caruso will respond to questions and comments in a Q&A session after his presentation.

Mr. Caruso was nominated to the position of Administrator of the EIA by President George W. Bush in February 2002. He has more than thirty years of energy experience with particular emphasis on topics relating to energy markets, policy and security, having held several Director positions in the US Department of Energy and well as in the International Energy Agency in Paris.

This is not his first visit to IEF Secretariat Headquarters. Visiting us in May 2005, he underscored the need for strengthen dialogue between oil-exporting and oil-importing countries and the importance of transparency and more timely and accurate oil date for efforts to reduce market volatility. The Secretariat had the opportunity to present itself and the Joint Oil Data Initiative, which the Mr. Caruso is a keen supporter of. He also attended the inauguration of Secretariat Headquarters by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah and the meeting of IEF Ministers on that occasion accompanying the Secretary of Energy of the USA Samuel Bodman.

On a more personal note, I would like to add that Mr. Caruso and I go a long way back, working together in various positions. He was Head of the IEA Secretariat's Division for non-Member countries in the early 1990's, when I was the first Chairman of the IEA member country Committee on non-Member Countries, an IEA foreign relations' Division and Committee so to speak. And this was the time, when the IEA, an association of industrialized OECD countries, developed a global outreach strategy to include first Russia, then India and China along with more actively pursuing dialogue with oil-producing countries. This was a time when the seeds for what has developed into the IEF, with a permanent Secretariat here in Riyadh, were sown.

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