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Opening Speech of HE Yury P. Sentyurin, Secretary General of GECF on the occasion of the 20th GECF Ministerial Meeting

 Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

Your Excellency, Hon. Franklin Khan, Minister of Energy and Energy Industries of Trinidad and Tobago

Excellencies, Honorable Ministers and Heads of Delegations,

Ladies and Gentlemen, Good morning,

First of all I would like to say that is my privilege and pleasure to welcome you all to this beautiful location and I would like to specifically extend thanks to HE the Hon. Franklin Khan for hosting us and presiding over this Ministerial Meeting.

Majority of you have travelled from far to join us today, so your participation at this event is much appreciated.

We are witnessing a time that is both challenging and exciting. The average global gas consumption has grown steadily by 1,8% per year for the past 8 years and it is in fact the fastest growing energy source apart from renewables challenging the status-quo. Market dynamics are changing, with new players entering gas markets particularly multiple traders, a high influx of LNG exports coming onstream over the next few years and an increased demand coming from industries, even surpassing the demand for power generation.

This further reinforces the need for international cooperation on matters concerning more effective and flexible use of gas resources in favor of GECF Member Countries participation. It was there not a surprise when in June 2018, Ministers at the G20 Energy Ministerial meeting in Argentina, acknowledged this and made sure to emphasize it in their communique.

In this region specifically, positive developments are seen quite explicitly. Our host country particularly has done an outstanding job of monetizing its gas assets. Local gas production has reached its highest point in years and this trend is expected to continue. The unwavering efforts of HE the Hon. Dr. Keith Rowleyand HE the Hon Minister Khan, are reflected in the 10+ billion dollar investments that will be injected into the country by international energy companies over the next 5 years.

It is worth mentioning the energy pact that has been signed between Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago as well. This is a distinct example of a mutually beneficial cooperation amongst GECF member states. I would also like to note Bolivia and Peru on not only the continued collaboration between themselves, but also with other member states such as Algeria. It strengthens our common belief that GECF is on to a great future. This belief has been confirmed lately in Algeria Energy Future, which allowed to witness our esteemed member country high prospects for increasing gas production and sustainable exports in the future.

Since the establishment of the Forum, it has recorded notable milestones and transformed into a credible and widely recognised international organisation.
It has also become a well-respected authority for insights into global gas markets, and a trustworthy platform for the promotion of cooperation and dialogue on key aspects of the gas industry.

We continue working towards expanding and strengthening the Forum’s membership, through regular engagements with potential member countries.

The joining of new members with a different outlook, different types of infrastructures and energy mix and a different set of challenges becomes increasingly important. (Angola, Mozambique)

Significant progress has been made towards creating a reliable and stable framework for collaboration. This will help to arm us against geopolitical instabilities that might create risks for the security of supply, especially in areas that depend heavily on imports. This is also why the creation of the GECF Gas Research Institute in Algeria, as well as the cooperation we have with theJoint Organization Data Initiative for Gas - have great importance;the short term gas market report and regular updates to our GECF Global Gas Outlook 2040 remain equally crucial. In this respect, partnerships at the 16th International Energy Forum Ministerial Meeting (IEF16) which took place in India in April this year,  the ministers welcomed the proposal to further improve the architecture of global energy dialogue and the interface between international organizations by involving the GECF in the cooperation arrangement, under the neutral IEF platform.

This year the GECF celebrates its 10th Anniversary, it is also time to consider how far the Forum has come in integrating itself into the international fora and discourse. In 2018, the GECF became a member of the Natural Gas Research Programme of the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. Also the Forum is planning to obtain Observer Status to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

During the period after previous Ministerial Meeting there have been some changes in our Member Countries as follows:

  • Welcoming to:
             - HE Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, Minister of State for Energy Affairs, Member of Cabinet. 
             - HE Thamir Abbas Ghadhban, Minister of Oil of Iraq
  • Thanks a lot for contribution:
             - HE Mohammed Saleh Al-Sada, Minister of Energy and Industry
             - HE Jabbar Ali Hussein Alluaibi, Minister of Oil of Iraq

I would like to take this opportunity to say that it is a pleasure and an honor to be a part of such a meaningful organization and I am looking forward to further collaborating with all of you and I would like to thank you all for your steady and incremental support and confidence.

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Opening Speech of HE Yury P. Sentyurin, Secretary General of GECF on the occasion of the 20th GECF Ministerial Meeting  Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
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