The 2nd GECF International Gas Seminar Strives for Sustainable Development on Energy Markets
Malabo, Equatorial Guinea
On November 27 the 2nd GECF International Gas Seminar was held under the theme ‘Gas: Challenging the Status Quo, Creating a Sustainable Future’ at Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, on the eve of the 5th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the GECF Member Countries.
Held under patronage of HE Francisco Pascual Obamor Asue, Prime Minister of Equatorial Guinea, the Seminar gathered Ministers, GECF, IEF, IGU, APPO leadership and energy giants’ CEOs. At the official opening, HE Prime Minister, HE Maria Coloma Edjang Mbengono, Mayor of Malabo, HE Yury Sentyurin, GECF Secretary General and HE Gabriel Mbasa Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea delivered their keynote addresses, encouraging the audience for open and fruitful deliberations.
The seminar has given a unique opportunity to offer the Forum as a collaborative platform among gas industries stakeholders. The first panel witnessed HE Gabriel Mbasa Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea, HE Dr. Seyed Mohammed Hossein Adeli, former GECF Secretary General and the head of the Iranian Ministerial Delegation, Kamel-Eddine Chikhi, CEO of Sonatrach, and Antonio Santos Domingos, President of the Excecutive Commission of Sonangol sharing insights on the role of gas in the geopolitical context, focusing on the necessity of infrastructure, cost competitiveness, and regional integration in capitalizing on global gas reserves. The topics of contribution in meeting UN Sustainable Development Goals, monetization of the ‘blue fuel’ and digitalization of the industry were also in focus of the day-long debates.
The GECF International Gas Seminar series was launched two years ago in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, in Bolivia with its first edition under the theme ‘Natural Gas: The Fuel of Choice for Sustainable Development’. This was premised on the fact that the GECF is confident that natural gas is not only the fuel of choice, but also the answer to the 21st century sustainable development challenges.
In the continuation and development of its concept, the 2nd edition of Seminar was held on the sidelines of the GECF landmark event – biyearly GECF Summit, which for the first time takes place on the energy rich African continent.
The 2nd Seminar’s topics gained special interest amongst the Forum’s African Member Countries – Algeria, Angola, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Libya, and Nigeria. Moreover, the event enjoyed active involvement of officials and experts from new market players in the region— such as Cameroon, Mozambique, Tanzania, Gabon, Mauritania, Senegal, South Africa and others.
In his intervention, GECF Secretary General extended his appreciation to the host country leadership and all the audience attending, and briefed, that the GECF is now a gathering of 19 gas producing countries, which globally represents 71% of natural gas reserves, 44% of marketed gas production, 55% of pipeline gas trade and 53% of LNG trade. He specifically stressed the role of GECF Member Countries as reliable suppliers of natural gas, able to readily meet global energy needs and play a crucial role in the stability of natural gas markets in the entire world.
He continued by advocating natural gas, as an abundant, affordable and clean energy source, which is well positioned to contribute greatly in mitigating carbon emissions while simultaneously supporting progress on several sustainable development dimensions including environmental, economic and social ones. Due to that our main message from the 2019’s edition of Global Gas Outlook is that natural gas is the destination fuel and will play a central role in energy transitions.
In the development of African focus Dr. Yury Sentyurin stressed, that the continent has gained in particular attention in GECF community as a very promising and prospective region in the gas industry. A huge share of resources has not yet been developed especially in offshore deep-water areas due to the varied reasons such as lack of investment. Progressing in deep-water, floating, digitalized and other advanced up-stream and mid-stream technologies as well as absorbing adequate investments can definitely drive a very promising future.
As per the GECF data, currently Africa holds a share of around 6% in global marketed gas production. However, it is expected to rise to over 10% by 2050. Africa’s annual gas production is expected to increase from 236 bcm in 2018 to more than 620 bcm by 2050.Which means, that almost one-fifth of the total rise in global natural gas production is set to be sourced from Africa.
“Natural gas will continue to be in demand and will help us meet the objectives of sustainable development and the energy transition for our country, for Africa and for the world,” noted HE Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea. “We are working on the gradual implementation and exploration of various gas fields. All of the work that we are doing is in line with the policies that the international community is asking us to have for fossil fuels. We want to protect the environment and provide for the needs of remote communities in rural Africa.”
To this end, the milestone deliverable of the 5th jubilee GECF Gas Summit – the Declaration of Malabo – was enriched with a special accent on promotion the GECF cooperation with African countries to use gas as the core source of energy in their development programs and climate change policies, with the aim to overcome energy poverty, enhance development and to mitigate CO2 emissions.