Qatar to remain "most reliable source" of gas supply, says GECF chief
March 03 2018 07:46 PM
GECF Secretary General Yury Sentyurin
GECF Secretary General Yury Sentyurin

*Over the medium term, Yury Sentyurin sees that Qatar, Russia and Iran will playing a key role in supporting gas exports

Qatar and other GECF members will remain the “most reliable sources” of gas supply in the market, said Gas Exporting Countries Forum’s new secretary general Yury Sentyurin.

“Over the medium term, we see that Qatar, Russia and Iran will continue to play a key role in supporting gas exports. These countries are making a lot of efforts to unlock their huge gas export potential, especially by promoting upstream and gas infrastructure investments,” Sentyurin said in an interview with Gulf Times here.

Sentyurin said Qatar would achieve improvement of its capacity after lifting the moratorium (North Field).

Russia, he pointed out, was expected to pursue its strategy to diversify its gas markets, especially through LNG trade.

Iran has launched an important program to develop its upstream capacities. “We believe that the country has the potential to increase its exports over the medium term, especially by pipeline with the commissioning of the Iran – Pakistan pipeline project,”

The GECF member countries will continue to develop their natural gas resources to enhance the security of natural gas supply, Sentyurin said.

Asked which segment in the gas industry would develop faster, Sentyurin said, “We expect LNG exports to expand faster compared to pipeline gas exports in the short and medium-term.”

Already, preliminary figures for 2017 showed LNG trade at 291mn tonnes (MT), and indicate 11% growth compared to 6% in 2016. Global pipeline trade in 2016 increased by 6% to 737billion cubic metre (bcm).

In 2017, based on available data for Algeria, Russia and Norway, European market (which accounts for 56% of the global pipeline trade) was up by 5.3% to 325bcm.

The 85.7MT of liquefaction capacity currently under construction, which will come on stream by 2020, obviously suggests a huge expansion in the LNG sector, he stressed.

“In the next three years, we will see promising developments in LNG. However, since we haven’t witnessed considerable final investment decisions (FIDs) in the last couple of years, this expansion will decelerate by the second LNG wave, which we project will occur after 2022.

“Based on our modelling and analyses, pipeline trade is still a convenient, economic and reasonable way to trade natural gas, especially for consumers in Europe and Asia,” he said.

The global pipeline gas exports were mainly supplied to the European market which with 416bcm import in 2016, while North America and Asia Pacific lagged behind with 143bcm and 66bcm respectively.

“We can see that very important pipeline expansion projects will become operational in about four years in those regions: the Nord Stream 2, the Southern Gas Corridor (SCPX, TANAP and TAP), the fourth line of the Asia-China gas pipeline D, the Turkish Stream and the Power of Siberia.”

He said lower production costs in producing regions and increasing demand from these consumer regions will drive the expansion of pipeline trade in the medium- and long-term.

Even though pipeline gas exports, which account now for 68% of global gas trade, will lose a certain market share to LNG exports, they will nevertheless remain the largest segment of the global gas market, Sentyurin added.

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