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Global gas markets: energy policy and energy security

June 03, 5:58 UTC+3
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KEY CONCLUSIONS:

  • Increasing LNG share globally

“The trading growth in LNG is telling: the market is getting more and more global: LNG is prioritised in energy strategies of a growing number of countries. <...> We understand that in absolute volumes trading in LNG <...> has gone up,” said Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Management Committee, Gazprom.

In total, the LNG is going to play a major role, said Seyed Mohammad Hossein Adeli, Secretary General, Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF).

“We can see that of all these amounts of fuels only LNG, only liquified natural gas is the one to continue to increase,” said Sun Xiansheng, Secretary General, International Energy Forum (IEF).

  • EU's spot market is inefficient

Spot hubs have proved they only have low gas liquidity: they simply lack the volumes demanded by offtakers in the peak season. <...> Spot prices at gas hubs were significantly higher than what Gazprom offered to its customers under long-term contracts. In fact, percentage-wise they were higher by a double-digit factor. <...> Spot sales from European gas hubs are not a reliable benchmark for pricing purposes. We have examples from the recent winter season,” said Alexey Miller.

CHALLENGES:

  • Europes energy security requires development of a gas pipeline infrastructure

“We will launch this pipeline [Nord Stream 2] in late 2019. <...> If the demand for Russian gas keeps growing at the same pace as has been observed during the last 18 months, then it will need more than Nord Stream 2 to meet the growing demand for Russian gas in the European market,” said Alexey Miller.

“Some people in Brussels think that just the diversification of sources leads to supply security. This calculation will not work. The important element here is the combination of reliable access to reliable resources and reliable transit logistics,” said Rainer Seele, Chief Executive Officer, OMV AG.

“If we talk about security, then we have to talk about infrastructure. The only thing that is missing to make the European market a really complete market and an independent market, a flexible market, is sufficient infrastructure,” said Mario Mehren, Chief Executive Officer, Wintershall Holding GmbH.

SOLUTIONS:

  • Support for Nord Stream 2

“By far, the biggest investor in [Europe’s] infrastructure security is Gazprom. This project deserves the full support of the respective national governments, and should also get support from Brussels. <…> We need to install additional routes for Russian gas to Europe,” said Rainer Seele.

  • Meeting European gas demand during peak periods

“We will focus more on pumping gas into Europe’s underground gas storage facilities. We understand it perfectly well that the demand for gas from the European underground storage in the upcoming winter of 2017–2018 will be higher than last year,” said Alexey Miller.

  • Environment: coal-to-gas substitution

“Whoever seriously claims the need to stick to the climate and energy efficiency targets, it is only creditable if gas is being promoted, particularly in order to substitute coal. Secondly, it is important that we realise the fact that Europe’s indigenous gas production is declining, and it is declining much faster than expected. For those two major reasons, Europe needs access to additional gas quantities from reliable resources and at an affordable price. Now, ladies and gentlemen, like it or not, Russia has proven to be one of the most reliable gas resources for Europe,” said Rainer Seele.

“We need to talk more about the real target for energy policy, and that target, in my view, can only be the most cost effective and efficient and the quickest reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. <…> Let the market decide, let technology decide [how to do that]. If you do that, you will see that gas has found the right place in that market,” said Mario Mehren.

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