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Majid Jafar at the Symposium

Natural gas faces ‘$300bn investment shortfall yearly’

RIYADH, February 22, 2024

A $200-300 billion annual gap in global investment in natural gas development over the past decade risks supply imbalances with further price spikes globally as demand for natural gas rises in developing countries. 
 
This is according to Majid Jafar, CEO of Crescent Petroleum, who was addressing an audience of business leaders and policy makers attending the International Energy Forum annual Symposium in Riyadh.
 
The 14th IEA-IEF-Opec Symposium on Energy Outlooks was opened by Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud, Minister of Energy of Saudi Arabia. Presented as a joint producer—consumer energy dialogue, the event was co-hosted by Joseph McMonigle, Secretary-General of the International Energy Forum; Haitham Al-Ghais, Secretary-General of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec); and Dr Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the of the International Energy Agency. The discussion focused on conditions of market volatility and a widening gap between energy supply scenarios, making dialogue on energy outlooks and market signals more important than ever. 
 
Natural gas demand up
“Clean burning natural gas is more important than ever as an enabler of the energy transition, replacing coal and liquid fuels for power generation while supporting renewables when there is insufficient sun or wind. But as demand for natural gas rises, a shortfall in investment of about $200 billion to $300 billion annually over the past decade will impact supply going forward,” Jafar said. 
 
“We must seek balance in the energy trilemma of affordability and availability as well as sustainability, especially in the developing world, which will be central to achieving prosperity while tackling climate change as a global challenge.”
 
Jafar, who leads the region’s oldest private oil and gas company and is also Board Managing Director of Dana Gas PJSC, noted for example, that while global trade in liquified natural gas (LNG) is projected to grow by 50% by 2040 to approach 700 million tonnes per year, underinvestment in infrastructure and supply is leading to high LNG prices which worsen energy poverty in developing countries in Asia and Africa and spur increased burning of coal, resulting in higher carbon emissions that contribute to climate change.
 
Developing world
“The developing world is where the challenge of climate change will be won or lost,” he stressed. “We must enable these countries to have access today to cleaner, low-cost sources of stable energy, including natural gas, if the global effort is to succeed,” he said. 
 
Jafar was joined on the Ministerial and CEO session by several ministers including Marcel Abeke, President of the Opec Conference, Minister of Petroleum, Gabon; Sen Heineken Lokpobiri, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources for Nigeria; Antonio Oburu Ondo, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons, Equatorial Guinea. The panel also included Bruno Jean-Richard Itoua, Minister of Hydrocarbons for Congo, Hon Prof Mthuli Ncube, Minister of Finance of Zimbabwe; Kamal Abbasov, Deputy Minister of Energy, Azerbaijan as well as Raad Al-Saady, Vice Chairman & Managing Director of ACWA Power and Renata Szczerbacki, Strategy and Planning Executive Manager of Petrobras. 
 
Central energy hub
As the race for cleaner sources of energy accelerates, the Gulf region will remain a central energy hub for the world and this role will grow as companies like Saudi Aramco and Adnoc lead the way on energy innovations in low cost solar, green hydrogen and carbon capture and investments at scale.
 
“The Gulf region has become a pioneer and proving ground for cutting edge energy technologies ranging from low cost solar, to blue and green hydrogen, as well as carbon capture,” he said. “Many companies from our region are investing at scale to prove the energy technologies, ensuring it will remain at the center of global energy for decades to come.”
 
Crescent Petroleum became one of the first companies in the industry to achieve carbon neutrality across its operations in 2021 and has maintained its neutrality ever since after completing a series of projects to reduce carbon intensity and offset remaining emissions. The milestone was the culmination of years of effort to improve total process efficiencies and become one of the least carbon-intensive companies in the energy sector with a carbon intensity one third of the global industry average.--TradeArabia News Service
 



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