Dialogue to develop between OPEC and Energy Charter
A new dialogue is set to develop between the Energy Charter, a 51-member inter-governmental process for energy
cooperation between European and Asian states, and the OPEC.
This was the result of a meeting in Vienna on 29th November between Dr Mr Alvaro Silva-Calderon, Secretary General of OPEC, and Dr Ria Kemper, Secretary General of the Energy Charter Secretariat, at which the two organisation’s respective aims and activities, and prospects for future cooperation between them, were discussed.
During the meeting, particular attention was paid to the 1994 Energy Charter Treaty (ECT), the legally-binding
foundation on which the Energy Charter process is based, which sets out a framework of rules for cooperation among
its signatory states on energy trade, transit, investments and energy efficiency, with the aim of promoting the
establishment of an open, competitive energy market in the Eurasian continent. It was agreed that the Energy Charter
Secretariat would participate in a Workshop on the ECT to be held in Vienna early in the New Year for representatives
of OPEC member-states, aimed at increasing their familiarity with the Treaty and its role as a basis for
international energy cooperation.
Dr Kemper noted that this was the second meeting between the Secretary Generals of the two bodies, and expressed the hope that the Charter’s relations with OPEC would continue to intensify. “Direct dialogue represents the best way to increase mutual understanding”, said Dr Kemper.
At present, none of the eleven member-states of OPEC are members of the Energy Charter, although six (Algeria,
Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela) enjoy observer status at the Energy Charter
Conference (the Charter’s governing body).
In principle, according to Dr Kemper, there is no barrier to any state becoming a full member of the Energy Charter process, provided that such states demonstrate their readiness to sign up to the legal obligations contained in the ECT, and that their accession to the Treaty enjoys the unanimous support of the Charter’s existing members.