Energy Minister Eric Williams, standing, greets Abdulla Bin
Hamad Al Attiyah, Second Deputy Premier Minister of Energy
and Industry, Qatar, left, and Erik Johnsen, deputy director
general, Norway at the opening of the Fifth Ministerial Meeting
of the Gas Exporters Countries Forum yesterday at the Hilton.
T&Ts total liquified natural gas (LNG) export capacity
will exceed 15 million tons per annum at years end,
said acting Prime Minister Dr Lenny Saith yesterday.
have moved from zero to 15 million in six years and are naturally
quite pleased with this development, Saith said.
Speaking of the growing importance of natural gas to the world
economy, Saith said, Some scenario planners even project
that gas could surpass oil as the worlds most important
energy source by 2025.
In the worlds largest energy market, the USA, the demand
for gas has taken off in recent years and it is expected that
its imports of this fuel could soar in the next decade to
levels which rival todays entire global LNG market,
oil prices in recent times, together with a firming of natural
gas prices, are resulting in a more competitive position for
LNG, Saith said.
awareness and acknowledgement of the negative environmental
impact of oil and coal consumption, as well as the diminished
attractiveness of nuclear energy, have led to an increased
prominence of natural gas in the array of available energy
options, he said.
He was speaking at the fifth Gas Exporting Countries Forum
(GECF) at the Hilton Trinidad, St Anns.
T&T is taking over the chairmanship of the GECF.
Saith is acting for Prime Minister Manning who left on Monday
for official visits to Chile, Peru and Venezuela as part of
an aggressive lobby for the Latin American states support
for this countrys FTAA bid.
He said recent technological innovations have made LNG processing
and shipping more efficient, which have in turn resulted in
increased production and sales.
all of these favourable conditions, it is expected that over
the next decade at the global level, natural gas will produce
an investment boom of close to US$100 billion, Saith
Yesterdays GECF two-day meeting of 16-member countries
is the first time its been held outside of the Middle
East, and the first in the western hemisphere.
Energy Minister Eric Williams said although GECFs ongoing
discussions were yet to be fully defined, we must nevertheless
begin now to organise ourselves if we expect to be fully prepared
to deal with the vagaries of the international gas market.
must also learn from our past experiences and avoid being
caught off-guard, Williams said.
He did not elaborate.
Williams, who said he thought GECF had remained true to its
fundamental principles, added, Most importantly, we
have not retreated from our goal of building an open and market-oriented
Leroy Mayers, permanent secretary in the Energy Ministry,
said the meeting was taking place against a backdrop of high
prevailing global oil and gas prices.
the basis of current oil prices, the implications are an upward
price pressure on gas in markets worldwide, and prices, which
are projected to rise to US$7 to US$10 on a delivered basis
at Henry Hub by the end of the decade, Mayers said.
He said T&T having leased a number of marine blocks for
exploration, theres the expectation these blocks would
add to the countrys gas reserves, which are currently
estimated at 33 trillion cubic feet.