The spread of the COVID-19 pandemic caused the world to stand still, leading to stalled economical activities. The pandemic caused an unprecedented decline in demand and forced the oil and gas industry to take drastic measures over a short period of time to cope with the new situation. This led to oil price volatility which affected strategic investment decisions, leading into future shortage in meeting energy demands. The world oil supply then hit a post-pandemic high to cope with the economic growth that was impacted during the years of the pandemic. The geopolitical situations had also extended the volatility of the market and uncertainty about the future demands which changed the dynamic of the energy market. The present uncertainty will carry into the future and may have lasting effects on the world energy market.
These realities have created an extremely difficult situation and amplified previously existing challenges pertaining to unbalanced supply and demand, environmental concerns, and geopolitical strains. Given these challenges and uncertainties in the future outlook of energy demand, it is becoming difficult for the industry to shift back to the norms and plan for long-term strategies.
The ministerial plenary session aims to discuss the efforts exerted by governments in response to the global economic downturn and how to sustain and balance the energy market during low demand periods. The plenary focuses on the dual effect between the aforementioned challenges and how it reflects on the supply and demand of a very sensitive market. The plenary also sheds light on lessons learned by the oil and gas industry and organisations, such as OPEC, to be more agile in response to unusual crises. The plenary also discusses the transitions towards clean energy and renewables.