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Global Dialogue for Energy Security

13 March 2006

Let me thank the Government of the Russian Federation for convening this timely International Conference on Energy Security in advance of the meeting of G-8 Energy Ministers later this week. I am honoured to present some perspectives on the need for global dialogue to promote energy security in a world of increasing interdependencies. 

G-8 Ministers will meet at a time of heightened global energy consciousness. Oil prices remain high and volatile amid also other energy security concerns. The G-8 Presidency of the Russian Federation is putting priority political focus on energy security. What better place to reflect on Global Energy Security than here in Moscow? At a time, when the Russian Federation, with her enormous energy resources, towers as a super producer, consumer and exporter of oil and gas. 

Stable and reliable Russian exports of oil and natural gas can serve as an increasingly important corner stone for future global energy security. I was happy to hear Minister of Foreign Affairs Lavrov confirm yesterday that Russia has set itself the task of providing the world with energy resources on a reliable, long-term basis. 

President Putin and the other G8 Heads of Government highlighted in their statement on the Global Economy and Oil at the Gleneagles' Summit last year the important role played by the dialogue between oil-producing and oil-consuming countries in the International Energy Forum. They welcomed and expressed their support of the Joint Oil Data Initiative managed by the IEF Secretariat for efforts to increase the transparency needed to reduce oil market volatility. 

The IEF is a unique process of global dialogue on energy across traditional political, economic and energy policy dividing lines in an ever-more interdependent world. It gathers not only Ministers of the industrialized energy-importing countries in the IEA and Ministers of the petroleum-exporting countries of OPEC, but also Ministers of the important countries outside these organizations. Countries such as Russia, China, India, Brazil, South Africa and others that will have increasing impact on the global energy scenario. 

Multi-dimensional challenge

As this International Conference is showing, the challenge of global energy security is complex and truly multi-dimensional. It goes to the core of national interests. There is no quick and lasting fix. The cluster of issues related to energy security lends itself to on-going dialogue and co-operation not only among nations at political level, regionally and globally, but also to dialogue and partnerships between governments and industry. 

We know that the increase in global energy demand foreseen in the years ahead is substantial. Most of this increase will come in the developing countries as they industrialize and their economies grow. Production and consumption patterns, the energy mix as well as investment requirements will evolve in a changing geopolitical environment. And these energy developments will influence that changing geopolitical climate.

As we meet, President Putin has called for the 'establishment of a reliable and comprehensive system of energy security as a strategic goal for the G-8 and the world community as a whole'. 

The producer-consumer dialogue at political level in the IEF is uniquely placed to be a conducive vehicle for further and wider global discussion of how such a 'reliable and comprehensive system of energy security' might be developed and what are to be its co-operative elements and modalities. G-8 focus on energy security and President Putin's call fit hand-in-glove with the theme of the forthcoming IEF Ministerial, which is 'Energy Security - a Shared Responsibility'. 

Data and transparency

G-8 and other IEF Ministers have on repeated occasions expressed their firm commitment to improving transparency of oil data through the Joint Oil Data Initiative (JODI). They underscore that accurate and timely data are important for reducing energy market volatility and for promoting a more stable investment climate and energy security. The IEF Secretariat took on the co-ordination of the JODI in January 2005 with the full and active support of the IEA and OPEC, APEC, Eurostat, OLADE and the UNSD, the six international organizations that pioneered the initiative. JODI is a flagship activity for the IEF Secretariat. It is promising work in progress. 

More than 90 countries, representing 95% of global supply and demand, are now submitting data covering production, demand and stocks of seven product categories: crude oil, LPG, gasoline, kerosene, diesel oil, fuel oil and total oil. The submission of timely and accurate data by participating countries is crucial for the success of JODI. 

The Secretariat is managing the JODI World Database that was released to the public by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia on occasion the inauguration of our new headquarter premises in Riyadh in November last year.

As underscored by the G8 Heads of Government last July, 'Reliable and timely data on supply, demand and stocks facilitate timely adjustment to shifts in supply and demand while contributing to more solidly based investment decisions'. 

Stepping stone

We are looking forward to Minister Khristenko and other G-8 Ministers bringing their group and individual national energy security perspectives to the 10th IEF Ministerial, which will take place in Qatar next month and gather Ministers and senior officials of 60 countries. The wider global dialogue in the IEF can serve as a stepping-stone, after the G-8 Energy Ministers' meeting on Thursday, that would return valuable global and non-G-8 input to the development of the G-8's Strategy for Energy Security to be adopted at the Summit in St. Petersburg this summer. 

Our International Conference yesterday and today will give significant input to the development of the G-8's Energy Security Strategy. Distinguished experts have touched upon the many elements of global energy security that need to be addressed. In Doha, Ministers will have the opportunity to address these issues. Against the backdrop of concerns of both producer and consumer countries, of both industrialized and developing countries, Ministers will take a closer look not only at the longer-term challenges, but also at present day constraints in the market and bottlenecks throughout the energy chain. 

In that regard, let me mention that at the meeting of IEF Ministers on occasion of the inauguration of our headquarter premises in November last year, Ministers of oil-consuming countries requested a 'road map' from oil-producing countries on future supply. Ministers of oil- producing countries requested in turn a 'road map' on future oil demand from the oil-consuming countries. What road maps that are possible to chart for security of demand and security of supply could give some guidance for investment decisions need to secure adequate energy supplies. They could among things also indicate what need there would be to increase and adjust refining capacity as demand shifts to lighter oil products and the crude oil extracted becomes heavier.

Multi-polar Energy World

As global focus is being put on issues of energy security, regional and inter-regional energy co-operation is also being strengthened around the world, giving impetus to the global dialogue and co-operation. Parallel processes of global and regional co-operation are important to energy security in a multi-polar energy world. Regional and interregional co-operation can provide stepping-stones to global approaches and co-operation. The global energy dialogue at the level of Ministers in the IEF provides a meeting point for the mosaic of regional and inter-regional energy ambition within the Global Energy Policy Interrelationship.

Let me mention one such important new regional dialogue process that the Secretariat is associated with as a catalyst link to the global energy dialogue in the IEF. The two Roundtables of Asian Ministers on Regional Co-operation in the Oil and Gas Economy convened by India in January and November last year, the latter meeting co-hosted by Minister of Industry and Energy Khristenko of the Russian Federation. It is of global significance, when Ministers of the Principal Asian oil and gas producing and consuming countries meet to discuss issues of energy security. They represent half of the World's population, the bulk of the World's remaining proven oil and gas reserves as well as the greater part of the surging global energy demand expected in the years ahead. Of the countries gathered for this week's meeting of G8 Energy Ministers also China and Japan, in addition to India and Russia are taking active part in this new Asian Energy Identity. At both Roundtables, Ministers also recognized very importantly that the Asian oil and gas economy is integral to, and inseparable from, the global oil and gas economy. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

The bottom line is that this evolving multi-polar energy world will need more and cleaner energy used in a more efficient way, accessible and affordable to a larger share of its population. Indeed, energy security is a defining global issue of our time.