Posted on April 19, 2011

HE Qatar's Minister of Energy and Industry Mohammed Bin Saleh Al Sada, has stressed Qatar's commitment to its leading role in meeting the world's needs of environment-friendly energy in a sustainable manner . He told the Fourth Asian Energy Ministers Roundtable Meeting in Kuwait on Monday that Qatar will remain committed to investing in various energy sectors and was using latest latest technologies.

Qatar, he added, was providing employment opportunities and was committed to transparency in the energy policies in order to strengthen international cooperation in these industries. He noted that the State of Qatar has become the largest producer and exporter of natural gas in the world and was able to achieve unparalleled expansion in the gas industry , referring to the target achieved by Qatar in producing 77 million tons a year of LNG. He expressed confidence in the ability of oil and gas industry to adapt to current circumstances as the unprecedented rise in Asian demand for energy can be met " if we plan properly for investments in a timely manner so that it becomes permanent".

He pointed out that the abundance of natural gas and competitive advantages will lead to profitable and sustainable exchanges between Qatar and the Asian countries. He stressed that natural gas will be the right choice for energy use in many industrialized countries due to the efficiency of assets and facilities related thereto. HE Al-Sada said although the entry of non-conventional sources of gas production to the market, LNG is qualified to play a more important role to provide energy needs of many countries, particularly in Asia. He explained that with the beginning of the decade there were signs of recovery in the global economy , whereas the rate and strength of recovery varied from one region to another.

He noted that the International Monetary Fund predicted in the long term that the average global economic growth would be about 2.3 percent, adding that Asia is the strongest in terms of growth rate as it will achieve more than 5.4 percent, compared with 1.8 percent in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development members. He added that strong economic growth creates challenges for Asian governments to meet the growing energy requirements. And according to the International Energy Agency demand in Asia will double by 2035 while demand will remain in the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development almost constant. He hinted that in the face of this transformation , the oil producing countries should ensure appropriate investments to increase production capacity.They also should keep abreast of increases and the growing demand in major markets.This shoudl be done, he said , while being conscious about environmental concerns.

A look at the forecast of the International Energy Agency for oil, would show that more than $ 15 trillion of accumulated investments will be needed desperately to build a structural infrastructure for oil and gas needed to meet the requirements of the world expected until 2035. He also stressed that the shift in world energy supply will require new and specific investments and OPEC countries will continue to be a major player in the field of energy supply in the world, adding " new levels of production in the future will be be determined by the investment decisions we make .. in the light of this, we must ensure that the industry has available space for enhancing confidence in more investments on a large scale". He said the Gulf region and as part of Asia has one of the highest economic growth rates in the world and as a result of this demand for energy is rising dramatically. This situation makes it incumbent upon governments and energy industries to ensure the availability of investments in a timely manner in line with the growth in demand on the local and global levels.

A final communique issued at the meeting stressed that oil producing and consuming countries are committed to do everything they can collectively to limit excessive oil price volatility. They recognized that excessive fluctuations in oil prices are undesirable for both energy producers and consumers and called on the International Energy Agency IEA, the International Energy Forum IEF and OPEC, to continue their joint effort to better understand the linkages between physical and financial markets and promote the dialogue of physical market players with financial regulators across the globe as specific regulation on paper oil markets is put in place.

The participants expected that the strong growth in primary energy demand that has occurred in the Asian region over the last decade is set to continue over the next decades. They noted that all energy sources will be needed to meet future global energy requirements and that despite the recent unfortunate accident in Japan, nuclear power will remain an important component of the global energy mix. In parallel, they emphasized the importance of improving nuclear power plants safety and security, as well as the development of international safety guidelines, communication towards, and information of, the general public.