Ministers, Heads of International Organisations, Chief Executive Officers and public and private sector officials gathered at the 6th IEF-IGU Ministerial Gas Forum hosted by the International Energy Forum (IEF) and the International Gas Union (IGU) on 21-22 November in Barcelona, Spain. Delegates debated how gas market technologies and innovation contribute to inclusive growth and a sustainable energy future to achieve globally shared goals faster together.
Taking a Mediterranean perspective on gas market trends between Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, Asia Oceania and the Americas, discussions at the 6th IEF-IGU Ministerial Gas Forum were structured in three plenary sessions on:
The biennial IEF-IGU Ministerial Gas Forum aims to facilitate a constructive conversation among governments and companies from both producing and consuming countries on the potentials and risks in gas markets, and share a clear vision on what is needed to stimulate inclusive growth and create a sustainable energy future.
New conventional and unconventional resources, pipelines and LNG technologies diversify gas trade and investment flows among world regions, and create a more abundantly supplied and competitive gas market environment. The value gas supply chains offer to consumers has steadily improved through technology advancements, cost reductions and efficiency gains, as a consequence. In the current setting, natural gas market functioning depends more on technology, innovation and effective supply chain management, than extraction or off-take requirements. New gas technologies and innovations in gas market development are also coming into sharper focus as the need for clean air in major cities and greenhouse gas emission reductions grow. While implementation of the 2015 United Nations Paris Agreement and Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals requires sustained and stepped-up efforts globally, policy choices and investment decisions take on a different character in distinct energy market settings.
Taking place in the context of these new gas market trends that create significant new market opportunities and enable enhanced ambition for climate resilient development on the eve of the 24th UNFCCC Conference of Parties in early December 2018, the 6th IEF-IGU Ministerial Gas Forum will build on the dialogue among government and industry stakeholders. This will support well informed decisions in light of greater interconnectivity and more stringent energy and climate policy requirements.
Delegates noted that the importance of natural gas in achieving inclusive sustainable growth and successful energy sector transformations is more widely acknowledged. They highlighted that natural gas is critical to help keep global warming within tolerable limits and improve air quality in major cities, noting that in comparison to other fossil fuels, natural produces less greenhouse gas emissions, negligible sulphur dioxide and airborne particulate matter and very low nitrogen dioxide emissions, while supporting the greater deployment of renewable energies and integration of other sources.
Delegates called on government and industry leaders to build confidence by overcoming obstacles to gas market trade and cross border interconnections and foster stable and predictable conditions to accelerate the deployment of gas sector technologies such as Carbon Capture Use and Storage (CCUS), Hydrogen, modern gas sector infrastructure, including flexible and small scale Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) and explore synergies.
Co-dependencies between importers and exporters are increasingly governed by flexible arrangements in a currently well supplied market. Yet to boost stable and resilient gas markets long-term investment must accelerate over the next decade. Predictable and transparent market conditions including reliable price signals and regulation are vital to gas market security and trade flows in a more diverse and rapidly changing environment.
Delegates of the IEF-IGU Ministerial Gas Forum noted the progress made by the Joint Organisations Data Initiative (JODI) Gas initiative since JODI-Gas was launched in Moscow on 2014. Delegates welcomed the enhanced visibility of JODI-Gas data that is now also available on different major data re-distribution agencies (Argus, Bloomberg, and Thomson Reuters). As LNG trade increases, delegates recognised the need for improved granularity of LNG data available in the marketplace and called on JODI Partner Organisations to help achieve this goal.
The importance of natural gas in achieving sustainability and successful energy sector transformations is now more widely acknowledged. Natural gas supports the greater deployment of renewable energies and in comparison to other fossil fuels produces much less greenhouse gas emissions, and negligible sulphur dioxide and airborne particulate matter and very low nitrogen dioxide emissions, critical to air quality. The challenge for the future is how energy systems will evolve to meet greenhouse gas emission, and more stringent fuel quality standards while at the same time respond to growing demand for affordable access to reliable energy services. Governments and industry are sharpening focus on the technologies and innovations needed to capitalize on the environmental benefits gas offers for inclusive growth towards sustainable futures.
Moderator: Adam Sieminski, President, King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Centre (KAPSARC)
In 2017, global gas demand grew by almost 4% due to strong demand growth in Asia and Europe. While the outlook for gas is bright in view of its abundance, New infrastructure developments in Europe from the Baltic to the Mediterranean, rising North American LNG exports and Asian gas demand growth illustrate both the opportunities and hurdles that remain for the world to fully capitalise on the benefits that readily available gas resources and new and innovative technologies bring. The share of gas in the energy mix has remained largely unchanged until very recently as a consequence. In order to encourage the necessary investments in infrastructure and trade flows, there is a need to focus on pricing, cost, and acceptance issues to realise new growth potentials.
Producers and consumers cooperate to strengthen security of gas supply on international markets and benefit from greater resource availability and new market opportunities. This involves investment in gas infrastructure, ranging from pipeline systems, on land LNG terminals and floating facilities, cross-border and inland interconnections, as well as storage. Co-dependencies between importers and exporters are increasingly governed by flexible arrangements in the current well supplied market. Yet to boost resilient and healthy growth in Asia, or respond to the rising import dependencies in Europe, long-term investment must accelerate over the next decade. Predictable and transparent market mechanisms including reliable price signals and regulation will be required to enhance gas market security in a more diverse and rapidly changing environment.
Details of the previous IEF-IGU Ministerial Gas Forums can be found below.