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7th International Energy Forum ends on positive note for oil prices.

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M217/2000 19 November 2000


The Australian Delegation to the 7th World Energy Forum, led by Federal Regional Services Minister, Senator Ian Macdonald, has reported a positive and optimistic outcome toward stable and lower world oil prices.

Ministers from over 40 countries met in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, for the Forum, which concluded today. Speakers at the forum included United States Energy Secretary, Mr Bill Richardson and French Industry Minister, Mr Christian Pierret.

A key outcome of the meeting was a strong willingness from both oil producers and consumers to work towards more stable oil prices at lower levels.

Australian delegation leader, Senator Ian Macdonald, said speakers both from major oil producers, such as Saudi Arabia, and from importing countries, such as the United States, France and Germany, expressed a strong desire to continue discussion and dialogue to avoid the wild swings in oil prices seen in the last two years.

To this end, the offer by the Saudi Government to host a permanent secretariat to support such discussions was warmly welcomed by many countries.  Such discussions are likely to assist moves to ensure a more sustainable oil price.

Senator Macdonald said Australia’s involvement in the Forum reflected our persistent and strong efforts to support a more stable oil market with lower prices.

The current volatility in oil markets and its impact on economic growth were also discussed by APEC Leaders and Ministers in Brunei this past week.

APEC leaders stressed the need for greater stability in the market and called for appropriate measures within APEC to achieve that goal.

Senator Macdonald said, at the Riyadh Forum, that the Energy Working Group, which is chaired by Australia, is leading the APEC efforts to improve the functioning of energy markets, energy efficiency and conservation, diversification of energy sources, renewable energy development and deployment, and the potential for alternative transport fuels.

One key initiative put forward at APEC is an exchange of information and experiences on the role of petroleum stocks as an option to respond to oil market disruptions. Australia is strongly supportive of this option.

This project and the other work of the Energy Working Group has the potential to significantly reduce the impact of oil price shocks on the APEC region in the future.


Media contact:

David Moore (Senator Macdonald’s Office) (07) 4771 3066

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© Commonwealth of Australia 2000 Last updated:  Monday, 20 November 2000