Intervention by OPEC Secretary General to the 2nd Gas Summit of the GECF

Delivered by HE Abdalla Salem El-Badri, Secretary General, to the Second Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), Moscow, Russia, 1 July 2013

Mr. President, Excellencies, Heads of State of Member Countries of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, Ministers and Ambassadors, distinguished delegates, esteemed guests, ladies and gentlemen.

On behalf of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, it is a great honour to be here at the Second Heads of State and Government of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum.

OPEC welcomed the formation of the GECF and recognizes its important role in the global gas market and its significance to its Members – a number of whom are also Members of OPEC.

The GECF is focused on establishing a platform for the exchange of analysis and information in areas such as natural gas production, gas supply and demand balances, gas transportation and technologies, and strengthening cooperation and coordination among its Members and external parties.

The goal is helping to deliver gas market stability for the benefit of both producers and consumers.  This is something OPEC fully appreciates given its position in the oil market. 

The significance of this stability is amplified when we look at the expected future roles of both oil and gas.

Looking ahead, it is clear that world energy demand is set to grow.  In OPEC’s most recent World Oil Outlook, world energy demand increases by 54 per cent over the period 2010-to-2035.

While renewables, biofuels and nuclear will play an important part in a diverse future energy mix, it will be fossil fuels that remain dominant in meeting energy demand for the foreseeable future.  They currently account for 87 per cent of global energy demand, and will still make up 82 per cent by 2035.

Of all fossil fuels, natural gas is expected to witness the fastest growth rate, at close to 2.5 per cent annually.  And its overall share in the fuel mix rises from 23 per cent today to 26 per cent by 2035. 

For oil, although its overall fuel share falls from 35 per cent to just over 27 per cent between 2010 and 2035, demand still increases by more than 20 million barrels a day over this period.

Combined, natural gas and oil will still meet well over 50 per cent of the world’s energy needs by 2035.

That is not to say, however, that the future will be straightforward.  As well as opportunities, there will also be challenges and some of these are shared by both oil and gas.

For example, challenges related to the environment, human resources and technology and investments.  There is much our industries can learn from each other. 

Your Excellencies.

Permit me to also share with you the principles that the Heads of OPEC States agreed upon during their most recent Summit held in Riyadh, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  This included among others:

• Stability in global energy markets;
• Energy for sustainable development; and,
• Energy and environment.

They recognized the importance of reliable and affordable energy supplies in ensuring global prosperity for all.  This reaffirms our commitment to the principles and objectives in the Organization’s Statute, the Solemn Declarations from the Summits in Algiers in 1975 and Caracas in 2000, as well as our Long-Term Strategy.

Before I finish, allow me to thank the hosts of this important summit, Russia:  a principal player in both oil and gas markets, particularly given its location between Europe and Asia.  In OPEC we value the dialogue we continue to have with Russia.

With that, I would like to wish the GECF all the best in meeting its mission and objectives.  I hope the organization continues to go from strength-to-strength.

Excellencies, thank you for your attention.