Launch of the JODI World Database
On November 19th, in conjunction with the inauguration of the IEFS premises in Riyadh, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud officially launched the JODI World Database.
Ministers of 17 producing and consuming countries, representatives of 6 international organizations and 9 major oil companies attended the ceremony.
The opening of the JODI World Database to the public is not the final goal of this initiative. Making the data available is only the first step towards more transparency. Indeed when the Joint Oil Data Initiative was first launched in 2001, the primary goal was not to build a database, but to raise the awareness of all oil market players of the need for more transparency in oil market data.
The decision of the launch was taken with the full knowledge that the database is still work in progress. The IEF Secretariat, together with the six other organizations running the Initiative, are fully aware of the limits and limitations of the database at this stage in its development. However, since transparency is central to the Initiative, the organizations have undertaken to respond positively to the request, expressed at the 5th JODI Conference in October 2004, that the database should be made accessible to the public.
Although the database is not perfect, significant progress has been achieved since its inception. For many countries, especially for the Top 30 producers and consumers, timeliness, coverage and reliability are already at reasonable levels.
The challenge for the organizations now is to increase the coverage to other countries, to further improve the timeliness of data submissions and to continually enhance the quality of all the data.
The organizations are very committed to this objective but the goal cannot be achieved without full co-operation from countries and the oil industry. They also need comments from the users, be it praise or criticism.