The Al-Attiyah Foundation, a leading energy and sustainable development think tank based in Qatar, hosted world energy experts for an engaging panel session focused on the rapidly changing gas scene, at the 9th Bosphorus Summit in Istanbul, Turkey, on 27th November 2018.
In line with the vision of the Foundation’s Chairman, His Excellency Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, the Foundation’s ongoing strategic partnership with the Uluslararasi Işbirlği Platforumu, International Cooperation Platform (UIP-ICP), who manage the Bosphorus Summit annually, provides an opportunity to enhance proactive multilateral and inter-disciplinary cooperation for sustainable development.
The thought-provoking session opened by recognizing HE Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah’s unique background having occupied senior positions in both the energy industry as well as world-class initiatives to protect the environment and promote sustainability. The speakers, this year, at the Bosphorus Summit 9, included Al-Attiyah Foundation associates from several organisations: the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies and Qamar Energy.
Dr. Akito Matsumoto, Senior Economist from the IMF, shared his analysis of the natural gas market during his presentation: “First, our analysis finds that energy efficiency gain is offsetting demand growth from income growth for high income countries. Thus, energy demand growth comes from middle income countries. Second, among primary energy demand, growth for coal and oil will slow down and might stop a few decades later. However, our analysis finds no signs of natural gas demand slowing in foreseeable future.”
Mahdjouba Belaifa of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) further commented on the ongoing growth of natural gas, focusing on emerging markets: “Prospects for natural gas demand growth are considerable in existing markets and emerging markets such as ASEAN, Pakistan and Bangladesh, but also in emerging sectors such as Natural Gas Powered Vehicles (NGV) and LNG as a bunkering fuel. The GECF will continue to play a significant role in supplying such growing demand. Furthermore, dialogue, cooperation and greater advocacy for natural gas as a fuel of choice for sustainable development are key for the expansion of natural gas."
Clearly, the economics derived from the supply and demand of gas has changed considerably in the last twenty years. Prices have also changed significantly in key markets in Europe and Japan though, interestingly the USA based Henry Hub price has little changed.
Dr Jan Frederik Braun, Strategic Energy Analyst, The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies commented on the Dutch energy industry and the role of gas in Europe:
“The Netherlands is quickly shifting its role from the EU’s largest producer and exporter to a net importer of natural gas. The radical overhaul of the Dutch energy system is to a large extent representative of the whole of Europe: rapidly declining gas production, an increasing dependence on gas imports while phasing out coal and going for more renewables.”
The discussions of the week and subsequent outputs and connections made, demonstrate how think tanks, such as the Al-Attiyah Foundation, can make a significant contribution by convening global experts from academia, industry and government to find potential solutions to the challenges faced by every sector.