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The global energy conversation has experienced a shift in focus, driven to a large extent by the effects of advances in methods of extracting and producing oil and gas. The most visible and high-impact effect of these advances is the so called unconventionals revolution, as the expansion of gas supply from shale deposits is now called. With the advent of this incremental supply, many analysts expect to observe changes in the inter-regional structure of gas prices, the process of price formation, the direction of trade and the global energy mix. Some of these changes are already taking place, such as the increase in gas price divergence between Asia and North America (which has recently narrowed), the re-direction of Middle Eastern liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes originally destined for North America to Europe and Asia Pacific, and the displacement of North American coal to European markets.
In light of the potential implications of these developments and their inherent uncertainties, participants in the 15 June 2014 joint International Energy Forum - Korea Energy Economics Institute Roundtable were invited to engage in a discussion about how and to what degree the rise of unconventional gas may be impacting the strategies of gas importers and exporters, and what implications this game changer may have for global energy security. A Dialogue Insights report on the roundtable discussion will be forthcoming shortly.
The International Energy Forum was invited to moderate a plenary session discussion on “The New Producer-Consumer Balance” with senior representatives from the International Energy Agency and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries at the 21st World Petroleum Congress, which was held in Moscow from 15-19 June 2014. The 21st WPC gathered roughly 5,000 delegates from over 80 countries.
IEF Energy Dialogue Director Zack Henry began the plenary session by providing an overview on the evolution of the producer-consumer dialogue, and then briefly addressed the producer-consumer balance in the context of the joint IEA-IEF-OPEC Symposia on Energy Outlooks.
Dr Jan Ban, Senior Research Analyst at OPEC, discussed the role that dialogue and cooperation play in helping to develop a sustainable energy future. Dr Ban focused on avenues for continued cooperation between producers and consumers, including the inter-linkages between physical and financial energy markets, the industry’s human resource challenges, the energy-water nexus, climate change and energy access.
Mr Keisuke Sadamori, Director of Energy Markets and Security at the IEA, provided an update on the recently-released IEA Medium-Term Oil Market Report. Mr Sadamori noted that while we may not see peak demand, we may see peak demand growth by the end of 2020. We may also see the spread of unconventional oil and gas production beyond North America at the end of this decade.
IEF Secretary General Aldo Flores participated in the 3rd Global Sustainability Forum organised by the Ibero-American Secretariat and EY. Leading government representatives from around the world, multilateral organisations, specialised agencies and the private sector took part in this high-level meeting which focussed on climate change and sustainability. Participants were invited to consider the major global challenges presented by ecological transition, trends in energy regulation, the development of new sources of power, and the creation of value through sustainable energy business models. These issues, and the policies required to ensure the efficient use of energy assets and natural resources, were at the heart of discussions in Madrid.
The G20 Energy Sustainability Working Group (ESWG) met for the second time under the Australian presidency in Sydney from 29-30 May. Delegates from G20 member and observing countries, and representatives from international organisations including the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, International Energy Agency, International Energy Forum, International Gas Union, and the World Bank discussed the G20’s work on energy-related topics including transparency and investment, ways in which the gas market dialogue might be strengthened, the current state of the global energy architecture, enhancing international cooperation on energy efficiency, and inefficient fossil fuel subsidies. IEF Energy Dialogue Director Zack Henry provided the meeting participants with an update on JODI-Gas, which was launched two weeks prior at the 14th IEF Ministerial Meeting (IEF14), and selected findings from the IEF14 plenary session entitled “Effective Global Energy Architecture: the Role of the IEF”. The next meeting of the G20 ESWG will take place place in Brisbane from 25-27 August.
The Spanish Gas Association (Sedigas) held its annual meeting in Madrid on 26 - 27 May 2014. The over-arching theme of this year's conference was "Gas, growth opportunity".
IEF Secretary General Aldo Flores was invited to participate in the meeting which was inaugurated by Spain's Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism, HE José Manuel Soria. Dr Flores delivered a presentation on the opening day of the conference - "Cooperation between Producers and Consumers of Gas: Trends and Prospects"
Sedigas is the Spanish Gas Association, a non-profit organisation set up in 1970 by the companies of the Spanish piped gas sector with the aim of promoting the deregulation of the market and the role of gas as a key element in the economic development and quality of life of future generations. Sedigas has established itself as the representative body for the sector and its interlocutor with national, regional and international authorities, as well as a key player in promoting the use of gas through the numerous initiatives and activities undertaken by the Working Groups and Committees which make up its operational structure.
A Meeting of Heads of the JODI Partner Organisations was held on 14 May ahead of the 14th International Energy Forum Ministerial meeting (IEF14), wherein representatives from seven JODI Partners reviewed progress made on developing and strengthening the Initiative since the IEF13 in Kuwait, and discussed potential avenues for shared progress over the next two years. Among the numerous points discussed was the possible expansion of the JODI database to cover other energy sources and alternatives for enhancing the visibility of and access to JODI data.
The Heads of the JODI Partner organisations present expressed appreciation for the progress made by their teams and other JODI stakeholders over the last two years in making JODI-Gas a reality. They also noted that the public launch of the JODI-Gas World Database provided Ministers with a clear example of the potential for successful cooperation among International Organisations in contributing to energy data transparency.
The IEF was honoured to receive Dr Oliver Koch, Deputy Head of Unit, DG Energy, European Commission at IEF Headquarters to deliver an IEF lecture on "The European Union's Common Energy Policy - Potential and Limits".
EU energy policy has become increasingly important in recent years, shifting away from an entirely national matter to a core policy of the European Union. One driver for this development is certainly the liberalisation of national energy markets and the project to create a barrier-free EU-wide energy market, following the successful example of other sectors. Another reason for the rise of EU Energy Policy has been the experience that cross-border cooperation is crucial to guarantee security of supply in the 28 Member States. Finally, coordination has proven to be indispensable to achieve the European Union's ambitious decarbonisation goals.
The European Commission is a member of the International Support Group of the International Energy Forum.
The work of the European Commission's "energy ministry" ("Directorate-General for Energy") focuses on reaping the benefits of cooperation and aggregation in the field of energy, notably by
At the invitation of GECF Secretary General, HE Seyed Mohammad Hossein Adeli, a team of IEF Energy Data Transparency professionals participated in a workshop organised jointly with the GECF. The "JODI-Gas and Cooperation in Enhancing Global Gas Data Transparency" workshop was opened by the GECF Secretary General, at the Forum's headquarters in Doha, Qatar. GECF secretariat staff and officials from GECF member countries joined the IEF team for discussions on the development of JODI-Gas in the lead-up to the planned launch of the JODI-Gas database during the upcoming IEF14 Ministerial in Moscow on 15-16 May 2014.
The IEF-GECF workshop presented a timely opportunity for participants to review and deliberate upon the steps necessary to realise the successful implementation of JODI-Gas, the mechanics of completing the JODI-Gas questionnaire, and other technical issues including data validation, and participation assessment. Discussions also focused on integrating the efforts of the GECF and its member countries within the JODI framework so as to optimise their contribution to enhancing global gas data transparency.
In his keynote address, GECF Secretary General, Dr Adeli highlighted the Forum’s commitment to JODI-Gas and to the broader concept of data transparency. Dr Adeli also emphasized the importance of closer cooperation between the GECF and IEF.
Ms Radia Sedaoui, GECF, Head of Statistics and Modelling gave a briefing on the GECF's data reporting mechanism and outlined their data-transparency efforts. Fuad Al-Zayer, IEF Coordinator, Energy Data Transparency (JODI) set the scene for the workshop by delivering a presentation on JODI's journey from its inception to the advent of JODI-Gas. Yuichiro Torikata, the IEF's JODI Energy Analyst then led technical discussions among officials from GECF member countries on topics relating to the JODI-Gas questionnaire, the JODI-Gas Manual and data quality assessment.
In addition to the formal workshop the IEF team met with GECF experts for a bilateral technical meeting to ascertain the potential of further leveraging the considerable in-house expertise of the GECF staff who are currently conducting a high level data quality assessment of JODI-Gas prior to its public launch.
This workshop between the GECF and IEF is a step toward the closer cooperation between the IEF and GECF called for in the 2010 Cancun Ministerial Declaration & in the Memorandum of Understanding that was signed between the IEF and GECF in 2010 that references the need to "Develop a cooperative relationship between the GECF and the IEF in relation to the improvement of gas market data transparency".
IEF Secretary General Aldo Flores was delighted to welcome Australian Minister for Trade & Investment, the Hon Andrew Robb AO MP to IEF Headquarters in Riyadh today. HE the Minister presided over the opening session of a forum on the “Food, Water, Energy Nexus” organised jointly by the Council for Australian Arab Relations (CAAR*) and the IEF.
Dr Alex Wonhas Director, Energy Flagship from Australia’s national science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) set the scene for the forum in his opening presentation which highlighted the intricate connections between energy, food and water security and the complex nature of finding solutions to issues which cut across the three sectors. Noting that Australia, by nature of its physical environment, climate and reliance on fossil fuels for energy, is facing similar challenges to those of the Gulf States Dr Wonhas acknowledged that the complexity of the nexus presented an ongoing challenge for policy makers. Dr Wonhas’ full presentation and those of others at the forum are available for download below:
*CAAR was established by the Australian Government in 2003 to enhance awareness and understanding and promote mutual interests between the peoples and institutions of Australia and the Arab world.