HE the Minister of Energy and Industry, Dr Mohamed bin Saleh al-Sada has said natural gas is the ideal solution to the climate change issue, resulting from the race to meet rising economic standards of living and industrial need of the growing population of this planet.
Al-Sada was speaking at the First International Gas Seminar of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum on the sidelines of the 4th GECF Summit in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.
Addressing the seminar, held under the theme “Natural Gas: The Fuel of Choice for Sustainable Development,” the minister said that industrial processes and emissions from fossil fuel combustion have created numerous environmental problems, such as greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, and other harmful gases.
He said using natural gas, unlike other fossil fuels, would be beneficial to the environment. “Natural gas emits virtually no sulphur oxides, and up to 80% less nitrogen oxides than coal.”
Al-Sada said within the natural gas sector, liquefied natural gas (LNG) demand is expected to grow at more than double the rate of natural gas, growing from 260mn tonnes per year to over 600mn tonnes per year over the next two decades.
The market share of LNG in international gas trade is expected to grow significantly from about one-third in 2015 to nearly half by 2035, equalling that of the gas supply by pipeline. The market for LNG is expanding beyond the power sector to include long-haul road transport and marine sectors as well.
In the short term, over the next few years, the demand for LNG will be supported by energy policies favouring gas, structural changes in power markets; and concerns over nuclear power generation.
Driven by these factors, LNG is expected to have a strong growth, pushing the total demand to about 314mn tonnes per year by 2020, al-Sada said.
In the same period, LNG supply too is set to rise and production capacity is expected to reach 400mn tonnes per year by 2020, as additional supplies enter the market.
Very few new LNG projects are expected to come in the earlier part of the next decade. As a result, the global LNG market will start to tighten, potentially facing a supply shortage by 2025 onwards, al-Sada said.
“This scenario led Qatar, under the visionary guidance of His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, to take the wise decision to increase Qatar’s LNG production from 77mn to 100mn tonnes per year, to be operational by 2024. Qatar would hence remain at the forefront of countries producing and supplying this clean form of energy to the corners of the globe.”
The GECF seminar aims to bring together world experts and stakeholders in the gas sector, to discuss the place of gas in the future energy mix.
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