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Asia Energy Forum and ASEAN Energy Business Forum in Bangkok

 Bangkok, Thailand

Thailand, as 2019 Chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), hosted the 2nd East Asia Energy Forum and ASEAN Energy Business Forum in conjunction with the 37th annual ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting. The ASEAN Energy Business Forum is the premier annual gathering of the ASEAN energy sector, enabling government officials, policymakers and global private sector organizations to engage in public-private partnership cooperation discussions, project development, and business collaboration meetings.

Keynote Speeches on the 2nd of September 2019 were delivered by Mr. Kulit Sombatsiri, Permanent Secretary, Minister of Energy, Thailand, H.E. Dato Seri Setia Dr. Awang Haji Mat Suny bin Haji Md Hussein, Minister of Energy, Manpower and Industry, Brunei Darussalam, H.E. Dr. Khammany Inthirath, Minister of Energy and Mines, Lao PDR, H.E. Dr. Ty Norin, Secretary of State, Ministry of Mines and Energy, Cambodia, and Mr. Atsushi Taketani, President of Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Bangkok and Chief Representative for ASEAN, JETRO, Japan.

A presentation entitled “Towards Sustainable Energy Transition, and the Role of Connectivity in ASEAN” was delivered by GECF Senior Energy Forecast Analyst, Dr. Hussein Moghaddam during the 2019 ASEAN Energy Business Forum. He also entered a panel discussion.

Dr. Moghaddam shared the GECF’s views on the global energy and gas outlook as well as the outlook for the ASEAN and East Asia region. He explained that according to the GECF’s Global Gas Outlook, global energy demand is forecasted to increase by 26%, and as much as 38% in the ASEAN and East Asia region. According to the GECF’s estimations, these countries together will account for almost 60% of the global energy demand increase between now and 2040. The projections show that, despite substantial reliance on coal, natural gas will be the only hydrocarbon to increase its share in their energy mix from 10% now to 14% over the outlook period. He mentioned that the natural gas demand in ASEAN countries as well as in Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea will increase by 87%, to about 1300 bcm in 2040.

As for gas production, more than 17 tcm of the recoverable reserve is proved in the region. And about 4 tcm unconventional hydrocarbon reserves are certified. About two-thirds of the total gas resource base within the region has not yet been explored.

ASEAN+6 countries are expected to be a major market for natural gas exporters, Dr. Moghaddam pointed out, with combined pipeline and LNG imports expected to more than double by 2040. Today, ASEAN and Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea are the largest gas importers with 28% of global trade and by 2040 with a trade share of 41%.

In conclusion, he said that the GECF always welcomes opportunities for new partnerships - as at the idea that information exchange and dialogue are the primary mechanisms behind coordinated gas market developments is at the core of the GECF’s Long-Term Strategy.

The GECF delegate also attended a panel discussion entitled “Policy Dialogue between LNG Exporting and Importing Countries” alongside Professor Jun Arima from the ERIA, and Mr. Masaomi Koyama, SOE Leader, Director of Overseas Energy Infrastructure Office, Commissioner’s Secretariat, Agency for Natural Resources and Energy (ANRE), Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Japan.

Dr. Moghaddam spoke about the rising LNG trading volume in the Asia Pacific, and how countries of the region are increasingly expressing intentions of having their own LNG trading hubs rather than oil-indexing contracts or hubs prices in other continents. This can potentially  have a fundamental change in gas trade on a global scale. However, he did point out the challenges for expanding LNG capacities in the region, such as a lack of policy support in favor of natural gas, cost competitiveness between LNG and other fuels, insufficient gas downstream infrastructure in most ASEAN countries and the risk of investments in the gas sector.

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Asia Energy Forum and ASEAN Energy Business Forum in Bangkok  Bangkok, Thailand
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