Intervention by OPEC Secretary General to the 3rd Gas Summit of the GECF

Delivered by HE Abdalla Salem El-Badri, Secretary General, to the Third Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), 23 November 2015, Tehran, I.R. Iran

Your Excellency President Rouhani, Excellencies, Heads of State of Member Countries of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), Ministers and Ambassadors, distinguished delegates, esteemed guests, ladies and gentlemen.

On behalf of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, it is a great privilege to be here in The Islamic Republic of Iran, a Founding Member of OPEC, for the Third Heads of State and Government of the GECF.

Over the past decade or so the GECF has grown in importance to its Members – a number of whom are also Members of OPEC.  At OPEC, we understand the need to bring together the world’s leading gas producers to exchange experiences, views, information and data.  The overall goal of the GECF is to support the sovereign rights of its Member Countries over their natural gas resources, to aid the sustainable development of these resources for the benefit of their peoples, and to help to deliver gas market stability for the benefit of both producers and consumers.

The importance of stability has been amplified in the current energy market environment.  And its significance is also clear when we look at the future requirements for both oil and gas.

There is no doubt that the world will need more energy in the decades to come – as the global population expands to 9 billion by 2040, economies grow, and countries seek to provide the energy poor with access to modern energy services.  We need to remember that many billions of people still rely on biomass for their basic needs and more than a billion still have no access to electricity.

Global energy demand is expected to expand by around 50 per cent by 2040.  In this regard, all forms of energy will be needed – wind, solar, hydro, nuclear, coal, and of course, oil and gas.

Combined, oil and gas are still expected to supply around 53 per cent of the world’s energy by 2040.  It underlines the need for major developments and significant investment.

In terms of oil, demand is projected to grow to around 110 million barrels a day by 2040, with oil-related investment requirements estimated to be around $10 trillion between now and then.

There is no doubt that the world has enough oil and natural gas resources to meet the expected future needs.  The most recent analysis for the remaining ultimately recoverable oil resources puts the figure at 2.8 trillion barrels.  And for natural gas, it is over 420 trillion standard cubic metres.

It should be underscored that despite the continuing cumulative production, these numbers have increased over the past five decades.

Moreover, these numbers do not take into account the large amounts of available unconventional oil and gas resources.

Of course, as well as opportunities, there will be challenges too.  For instance, there is the global economy, human resources, technology, investments and the environment and climate change.

In terms of the environment and climate change – we need to remember that this is a concern for us all.

Current climate change negotiations to develop an agreement in Paris next month and raise the level of ambitions for the pre-2020 period are extremely important.  But we need to make sure the interests and concerns of all of us are taken into account.

Overall, we need to keep in mind that the three pillars of sustainable development – ‘economic, environmental and social’ – mean different things to different people.

Your Excellencies,

There is much our industries share.  And there is much we can learn from each other.  Given the ever-increasing interdependence between energies, and between nations, there is a need to continually enhance dialogue and cooperation, with innovative thinking and collaboration, where and when appropriate.  This important Summit symbolizes that.

With that, allow me to thank our hosts today, the Islamic Republic of Iran, for the hospitality given to us, and the arrangements provided.

And we would like to wish the GECF all the best in meeting its mission and future objectives.

Excellencies, thank you for your attention.