IEA Executive Director and OPEC Secretary-General hold talks

25 September 2015

IEA Executive Director Birol (left) with HE OPEC Secretary-General El-Badri on 24 September in Vienna.

International Energy Agency Executive Director Fatih Birol visited HE OPEC Secretary-General Abdalla Salem El-Badri at the OPEC Secretariat in Vienna on Thursday, 24 September, accompanied by a small team of IEA officials.

The meeting was a courtesy call by Dr. Birol on HE El-Badri at the invitation of the OPEC Secretary-General. The discussions, which were followed by a working lunch hosted by OPEC for the IEA delegation, were wide-ranging and highly constructive.

HE El-Badri has held his current position since 2007, and Dr. Birol values the wealth of experience and wisdom that the Secretary-General has accumulated over his long career in the energy industry.

The visit is in keeping with the ongoing producer-consumer dialogue that Dr. Birol is eager to pursue, with a particular emphasis on the contribution it can make to enhancing energy security. The investment climate in the current weak oil-price environment was discussed as an issue with implications for both producing and consuming nations. Dr. Birol has often warned of the longer-term risks to security of oil supply should investments fall short of what is needed to meet the world’s future energy requirements. 

Dr. Birol started his career at OPEC more than two decades ago and as such has a good understanding of the concerns of the producer nations. Of course, the energy landscape has changed dramatically in recent times. Several of the IEA’s members are now major producers of oil while a number of OPEC’s producers have become major consumers of energy. This provides more grounds for co-operation between the IEA and OPEC in an effort to guarantee energy security in an environmentally and economically sustainable manner.