A global perspective on the gas market from Paris

31-03-2015

In 1974, the International Energy Agency (IEA) was established. This was just after the first oil crisis, which had shown that a disruption in the oil supply also has major economic consequences.

To be prepared for similar situations in the future, a separate energy organization was set up for the developed countries that already collaborated within the framework of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The main responsibility of the IEA was to ensure an oil reserve of 90 days for the member states; to enable this, the organization was granted the authority to release oil in case of an emergency.

This is still the main responsibility of the IEA, now with 27 affiliated countries, but the world has changed since then Where at the time of establishment, the organization still represented about 75% of the demand for oil, this is now, almost 40 years later, only 50%. The main reason for this change is the increased demand from outside the member states. That is why the IEA is collaborating  with countries such as, for example, China, through other forms of partnerships.

In addition, the IEA has become an important adviser with regard to energy policy, by publishing integral projections about supply and demand for all forms of energy and technology. This all comes together in their main annual publication, the World Energy Outlook.

They also publish other documents, varying from the Medium Term Market Outlook to Energy Technology Perspectives.

For a number of years, GasTerra employees have been seconded to the IEA. This is beneficial to the IEA, because the organization can compare its policy vision with the vision of an actor in the market, while GasTerra has detailed inside information about global, macroeconomic expectations at its disposal. The secondments takes place at the IEA gas department, which co-writes the annual Medium Term Gas Market Report[1], listed above, and which recently worked on specific studies on the LNG-market[2].

What are the major global developments with regard to gas? The previous newsletter already mentioned the changes in the market for liquefied natural gas (LNG). But there's more.

It is interesting to see that gas is a perfect partner for renewable energy, also in e.g. South America. Countries such as Brazil have a large share of hydropower in the energy mix. Drought has a huge negative effect on the electricity production, in which case gas plants can be quickly deployed.

Asia is also realizing that gas is the cleanest of all fossil fuels, especially with respect to combatting air pollution in cities. The gas demand in China is expected to show the steepest increase. Gas is playing an increasingly important role for the heating of homes, as a replacement for coal in industry and power generation, and in the new transport segment.

Finally, the Middle East is an area which, in its totality, could transform from a gas exporter into an importer of gas. The growth of both population and economy creates a greater demand for energy, while at the same time power generation is shifting from oil to gas.

 

 

Authors GasTerra: Anne Braaksma (Public Affairs) and Willem Braat (Analyst Gas Market Europe)

 

 

[1] http://www.iea.org/bookshop/473-Medium-Term_Gas_Market_Report_2014 (edition 2014, paid publication)

[2] http://www.iea.org/publications/freepublications/publication/AsianGasHub_FINAL_WEB.pdf (free publication)