GECF Holds 21st Ministering Meeting, Expresses Concerns Over Sanctions In Gas Sector

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     …Projects gas share in energy mix to increase from 23% to 27% in 2050

The 21st Ministerial Meeting of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum held on Thursday in Moscow, under the Chairmanship of HE Manuel Salvador Quevedo Fernandez, People’s Minister of Petroleum, Venezuela.

The Ministerial Meeting expressed its deep concern about the extra-territorial application of laws and regulations, as well as an objection to unilateral economic sanctions in the gas sector, and particularly against GECF Member Countries.

According to the Ministers who expressed concern about the challenges the gas industry is facing in terms of geopolitical tensions weakening world economic growth, the Meeting said that the uncertainty of energy policies and economic sanctions against some GECF member countries hinders the unlocking of huge potential of natural gas resources in their various countries. The current gas and LNG developments were also discussed as well as their implications on GECF Member Countries.

The Meeting stressed the for data transparency in the market and Forum’s participation in JODI-Gas, the joint program of IEA-IEF-OPEC on energy outlooks, the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies program as well as other peer energy organizations.
In their remarks, HE Manuel Quevedo, the President of the Ministerial Meeting, HE Alexander Novak, Energy Minister of the host country, and HE Yury Sentyurin, GECF Secretary-General delivered the opening remarks, reaffirming the leading position natural gas currently occupies in many countries, and its significant yet locked potential in regard to the transition towards less carbon-intensive energy systems.

The Russian Energy Minister noted that 2018 was an exceptional year for growth for the natural gas industry as consumption recorded a 5% growth – the fastest growth since 2010, to average 3.95 Tcm.

According to him, the in 2018 was also characterized by a significant growth where global pipeline gas trade increased by almost 8%, including re-export operations in Europe. “LNG trade growth continued exponentially with 10% for the second consecutive year, averaging a level of around 320 Mt.”

Based on the granular GECF Global Gas Model, the Ministers projected that natural gas will increase its share in the global energy mix from 23% today to 27% in 2050, adding that it will displace other sources of energy in many sectors. “For the first time, the scope of modelling features two brand-new alternative scenarios are considered: the carbon offset compensation scenario and the blue hydrogen scenario, both reflecting the importance of addressing the challenges posed by climate change.”

The Ministers re-emphasized the importance of access to modern energy services by the poor, as well as socio-economic development and the protection of the environment. The Forum also reaffirmed its resolve to pursue the advancement of natural gas as an affordable, accessible, reliable and clean source of energy, and its essential role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Continuing, it reiterated the importance of technology cooperation and re-emphasized the crucial role of the Gas Research Institute, established in Algeria, to this end. It has also noted that the GRI Scientific Committee has already considered no less than 29 projects submitted by member countries.

The incumbent GECF Secretary-General, Dr Yury Sentyurin had his tenure extended for another two years, effect from January 2020.

The Meeting was attended by official delegations from Algeria, Bolivia, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, Azerbaijan, Oman, headed by Ministers and high-level officials. The Chairman of the Executive Board and the Secretary-General attended the meeting.

Peace Obi    

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