The International Energy Forum (IEF) and the International Gas Union (IGU) held the 4th IEF-IGU Ministerial Gas Forum in Acapulco from 11-12 November 2014. This 4th joint Ministerial Gas Forum, which was generously hosted by the Government of Mexico, gathered Energy Ministers, industry CEOs and selected thought-leaders for discussions around "The Role of Gas in Energy Security and Sustainable Economic Development".
The topics covered at the 4th IEF-IGU Ministerial Gas Forum are of global relevance. They included the role of gas in economic development and its interaction with other sources of energy, the opportunities and challenges for investments in turbulent markets, the competitive landscape for LNG trade, and overall the interaction between policy and private sector strategy in this capital-intensive and long-term oriented sector.
The fact that this meeting took place in Mexico is of particular interest, given that it has just enacted sweeping reforms that have fundamentally changed the legal framework of its energy sector. Mexico has considerable potential in the gas sector and has been listed among the top countries with shale gas deposits in the world. This 4th IEF-IGU Forum provided a unique opportunity to learn first-hand how these historic reforms may affect the Mexican gas sector and influence developments in regional and global energy markets.
In addition to the IEF-IGU Ministerial Gas Forum, the first-ever G20-IEF Gas Market Dialogue was held at the same venue on 11 November.
The IEF-IGU Ministerial Gas Fora have their roots in the 11th International Energy Forum (Rome, 2008), wherein the representatives from 74 countries and 13 international organisations in attendance discussed the growing reliance of consuming countries on natural gas exports, the increasing interdependence between energy producing and energy consuming countries, and the emerging trend towards globalisation in the gas market. Energy Ministers at IEF11 encouraged the IEF Secretariat to work with other relevant international organisations to address the key challenges facing the natural gas industry.
Just seven months later, the IEF and the International Gas Union jointly held the First IEF-IGU Ministerial Gas Forum (Vienna, 2008) organised under the theme "The World Gas Markets Going from Regional to Global". The Second IEF-IGU Ministerial Gas Forum (Doha, 2010) followed two years later, and the Third IEF-IGU Ministerial Gas Forum (Paris, 2012) further enhanced the joint event's standing as a unique opportunity for Ministers and industry executives to engage in an open, informal dialogue in a neutral setting.