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IEA Executive Director sees greater cooperation with OPEC.

International Energy Agency (IEA) Executive-Director Nobuo Tanaka believes that cooperation between his organization and OPEC producers is progressing along a number of tracks and he said the groundwork is being laid for better coordination and communications regarding data gathering and transmission and market transparency and ways to avoid price volatility, among other areas.While there have been efforts to bolster cooperation in the past, and there are regular contacts between consumer and producer organizations, Tanaka said that he felt the International Energy Forum (IEF) meeting in Cancun, Mexico, last March, had helped provide a catalyst for IEA-OPEC collaboration."We think cooperation between OPEC and the IEA has already been established at many different levels: my staff, myself with (OPEC) Secretary-General (Abdullah) Al-Badri, and we will continue that," Tanaka told KUNA in an exclusive interview Friday.He remarked, however, that this cooperation became especially marked in Cancun and "there is a new cooperation with OPEC concerning the outlook, how we can calibrate our outlooks and compare notes on our assumptions etc"."This is very new...aiming at giving transparency, and certainly it is a very, very important and good way to further strengthen our cooperation," the IEA Chief said.Tanaka, who took over at the IEA in September 2007, was speaking to KUNA upon the release of his organizations latest "Medium-Term Oil and Gas Report" which aims to broadly forecast market trends for the next five years.The forecasts include global demand from the most industrialized countries in the IEA/OECD group, as well as other major consumers, and also gauge supply from OPEC and non-OPEC countries that will be needed to meet that demand.Tanaka pointed out that it was in the interest of both producers and consumers to keep market volatility to a minimum and he said both OPEC and the IEA were going to work in that direction this year."Another area (of cooperation) will be a sort of joint workshop about stability of the market and prices to be held towards the end of this year," he revealed."Everybody is concerned by this volatility of prices so it is a very good idea to continue working on this issue with these partners like OPEC and the Riyadh-based IEF, which the IEA official said acts as a bridge between consumers and producers," he added He cited, in particular, the Joint Oil Data Initiative (JODI), which is handled by the IEF for both producer and consumer organizations and he noted this was "a very important initiative to have more data".He also noted that ministerial meetings every two years further strengthened the contacts between the two organizations and he said the next such meeting would take place in Kuwait in 2012.Tanaka also remarked that OPEC and the IEA saw each other from time to time to compare notes about what is happening on the market."This type of communication is a very important one because the problem of the market is uncertainty, which we have with climate or the weather or long-term challenges from economic prospects or geopolitical uncertainty," Tanaka observed to KUNA."We must try to avoid as much as possible these uncertainties and that is a common interest for us all, and we will continue to do this," he maintained.

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Publication:Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
Date:Jun 26, 2010
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