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Annual European Gas Conference Attracted High Caliber Speakers- IENE Participation

Annual European Gas Conference Attracted High Caliber Speakers- IENE ParticipationOnce again a conclave of top level executives from major energy companies and senior industry leaders from Europe, Asia and America gathered in Vienna for the annual European Gas Conference which was held last week (27-29 January) in the Austrian capital.

Once again a conclave of top level executives from major energy companies and senior industry leaders from Europe, Asia and America gathered in Vienna for the annual European Gas Conference which was held last week (27-29 January) in the Austrian capital. The topics discussed included the fast expanding LNG market and Europe's role in it, the perspective on Europe in an evolving global gas market, the regulatory framework for gas, the outlook for European gas demand following the phasing out of coal and the pivotal role of gas in a low carbon future.The conference also discussed the latest challenges facing the financing for gas infrastructure projects, in view of latest anti fossil fueldecisionsby EIB and commercial banks who are under heavy pressure from activist investor groups to suspend funding for fossil fuel related projects, including natural gas.

During the first day of the conference, which was devoted to LNG, latest figures presented by US gas leader Cheniere showed the tremendous expansion of global LNG markets over the past year where new players such as USA, Russia and Australia are dominatingfresh  supply with Europe being responsible for more than 50% of incremental demand. With panel discussions on LNG focusing on its strategic growth and the importance of regasification terminals across the continent. Another key topic which was hotly debated included the need for a new type of LNG financing model capable of coping with more flexible contracts as it was generally agreed that oil indexed contracts will soon reach the end of their usefulness.

The key role of Russia as a major strategic European gas supplier was discussed at length during the second day of the EGC with a series of presentations and panel discussions lead by Gazprom. Current projects recently completed such as the Turk Stream and under construction,as is the case with Nord Stream 2, were fully analysed together with the important implications for market development in SE, Central and Northern Europe. The need to fill the anticipated 100 bcm supply gap in Europe by 2030 and where will supplies come from was debated at length. EU's position concerning decarbonization and the diminishing role of gas and current plans for its substitution by hydrogen and biogas were also presented by senior EC officials who came under a lot of pressure to explain their thinking.

During the third day of the conference the global and regional perspectives of the gas market situation and prospects were discussed with a major presentation by the IEA.

Regional views included presentations on the East Mediterranean, Turkey, Georgia,Ukraine and the Black Sea. Finally a review was contributed on the Low and Zero -Carbon Gas Projects and progress achieved so far in view of the pressing priorities of the current energy transition path.

EIB's, and by extension EU's, premature decision to suspend all funding for gas infrastructure projects as early as 2021, came under a lot of criticism by IENE's chairman Mr.Costis Stambolis who was invited by the organizers to present his views on "EU's Anti- Fossil Fuel Policies and their negative impact on SE Europe's gas sector". Stambolis argued convincingly that EIB's decision is bound to have a devastating effect on the development of natural gas projects in SE Europe at a time when the region will be under pressure from Brussels to decarbonize and fast. He presented details of some € 40 billion worth of projects in all different countries in the region whose funding will now be at stake.Stambolis further noted that EIB's most unwelcome decision is clearly undermining economic development prospects in this poorer part of Europe and he only hoped that "the EC and EIB would soon realize their mistake and will try to correct what is clearly an irrational decision" (Costis Stambolis's full presentation at the EGC is to be found in this site under the Report section)

 

EVENTS Investing in Energy Efficiency Enterprises Industry and Public Buildings

PUBLICATIONS Long-Term Gas Contracting Terms, definitions, pricing - Therory and practice The Greek Energy Sector 2019 SEEEO 2016-2017 More

COOPERATING ORGANISATIONS IEA WEC Energy Community Eurelectric BBSPA AERS ROEC BPIE