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Message of HE Yury Sentyurin, 

GECF Secretary General to the 22nd Ministerial Meeting


     Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF)
Secretary General 
HE Yury Sentyurin

On behalf of the GECF, it is my great pleasure to welcome you to the 22nd Ministerial Meeting, chaired by the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria. 

The year 2020 has posed several challenges to the world, foremost of which has been an unprecedented pandemic and the resultant slowdown of economies. However, the world of natural gas is used to face uncertain times. In fact, it is during challenging periods like these that our ability to respond quickly and efficiently to changing dynamics and market fluctuations becomes even more evident.

The Forum’s response to any limitations was to unlock the full advantage of our capacity to optimise and adapt. As a result, I am delighted to note that all the deliverables outlined in the 2020 Programme of Work have been or will be achieved within the stipulated timeframes.

For another year in a row, we contributed meaningfully to the fulfilment of the GECF Long-Term Strategy through the attainment of its Priority Objectives and Strategic Goals that are geared at the enhancement of the Forum’s position globally and advancement of its research and analytical capabilities.

In this light, we have been enhancing strategic dialogue between producers and consumers, engaging with non-Member Countries, and broadening cooperation with the relevant international organisations and entities. As a result of the tangible efforts of the Secretariat, our key insights, cemented in the GECF Summits’ Declarations, are reflected regularly in the keynote documents of the G20 leading economies. Notable progress has also been registered in interactions with our strategic partners – UNFCCC, UNECE, OPEC, OAPEC, IEF, IRENA, ERIA, OLADE, IGU, APPO. 

In our pursuit of shaping the gas market view and promoting natural gas as the fuel of choice, this year’s scientific and analytical research has been once again acknowledged as a hallmark of the GECF. This area of our work manifests on a daily, weekly, monthly, annual, and long-term basis. In line with the GECF 5-Year Working Plan and the Programmes of Work of 2019 and 2020, the Secretariat fulfilled 100% of the research work assigned to it. 

The meaningful progress achieved in the GECF Gas Research Institute (GRI) implementation has been adding value to the common and shared understanding of market narrative for our members. The GRI Scientific Committee has been contributing to the project initial goals’ by proactively carrying out the first cohort of projects. Following the adoption of the Constitutive Act of GRI, I am delighted to note that the Institute today is on the cusp of becoming operational. Presently, a search is on for an esteemed Director of GRI to drive the entity forward.

The landmark GECF deliverable Global Gas Outlook 2050, quantified through the use of the unique and upgraded Global Gas Model, is rigorously evolving. Its’ 2020 edition is the most advanced to date. It covers 140 countries, 80 regional and economic aggregations, 35 fuels in 33 sectors based on over 500 indicators, from energy price data to macroeconomic trends such as the impact of COVID-19 on gas market developments. 

Within the framework of the IEA-IEF-OPEC Symposiums on Energy Outlooks the GECF significantly added value at the 9th and 10th editions in 2019 and 2020, respectively. 

The array of high-quality reports in 2020 brought valuable new insights to the fore and ranged from the pertinent topics of new LNG market players to unconventional gas production. In 2020, the Secretariat delivered the brand-new GECF Annual Short-Term Gas Market Report and made progress within the “Assessment of Natural Gas Hubs” study – yet another instrumental tool in providing insights into the state of affairs of the gas industry. 

As our Member Countries rely on us to keep them abreast with the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, the Secretariat successfully curated events in the form of gas lectures, joint workshops, and seminars. 

The GECF Monthly Gas Lecture Series will soon hold its 50th edition and become an institution in its own right. In the area of promotion of natural gas, the GECF Workshop on Environmental Advantages of Natural Gas at COP25 in December 2019 and the Annual Workshop on Promotion of Gas Demand in July 2019 have been key achievements. 

Data is another hallmark of the GECF and the Secretariat has been continuing to push the frontiers of data and statistics. The venerated GECF Data Exchange Mechanism is bringing value to both our members and international organisations. Our involvement in JODI-Gas is the external lever of our data-driven activities, while data webinars, trainings, and bulletins are some of our critical internal activities.

Acknowledging the unity of the GECF Member Countries and Observer Members, I would like to extend the most sincere appreciation to the esteemed Ministerial Meeting, Executive Board, Technical and Economic Council, and Special Envoys for Data and Statistics, along with the Secretariat staff for their unwavering support, meaningful contribution, persistent dedication, and the great teamwork in a challenging environment. 

It is in our hope and aspiration to find strength in staying together – closer than before. This inspires us to continue working diligently and pushing forward activities to satisfy the interests and requirements of all those aboard the Forum and to serve their needs in the most accomplished manner. 

I hope for a successful round of deliberations, productive outcomes, and remarkable initiatives during the 22nd Ministerial Meeting and its associated events. 

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