GECF ‘Global Gas Outlook 2050’ fifth edition unveiled

Source: press release, 24 February 2021

illustration: GECF
illustration: GECF

The Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), the global platform of the leading gas producing nations, has unveiled the 5th edition of its annual GECF Global Gas Outlook 2050 (Outlook) at an online event attended by energy ministers and senior representatives from the Forum’s Member Countries together with a bevy of dignitaries and gas industry stakeholders.

The Outlook is the most extensive forecast of the global gas industry and presents multiple forward-thinking scenarios, from COVID-19 recovery to hydrogen economy, up to 2050 – a year by when gas is expected to firmly become the primary fossil fuel of the 21st century. The Outlook’s detailed quantitative assessments account for national energy strategies, environmental and climate policies, and investments and business decisions.

The forecast remains the flagship publication of the association of 19 member countries, which together represent 70% of the world’s proven gas reserves, 44% of its marketed production, 52% of pipeline, and 51% of LNG exports in the world.

Addressing the gathering via a statement, HE Viktor Zubkov, Special Representative of the Russian President for Cooperation with the GECF and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Gazprom, said, “The Global Gas Outlook, being launched today, presents a quality assessment of how macroeconomic conditions, energy policies, prices and investment decision have their influence on the development of natural gas markets (worldwide) At the same time, this new edition closely examines the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on global energy markets and focus on the strengthening role of natural gas in the energy transition.”

Commending the GECF for developing a rigorous forecasting and analytical potential in-house, HE Alexander Novak, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation said: “The weight and reputation of the GECF in the gas industry is steadily growing and we expect that it will continue to play a key role in shaping further vectors for the development of the gas industry, establishing mechanisms to ensure the stable and safe functioning of the gas market.”

“The development of the global gas market largely depends on the BRICS countries, whose energy balance will witness natural gas’ growth by almost 50% by 2040. In addition, the potential for the LNG market is growing. Already, Russia is fourth among the world’s largest producers. We intend to increase production from the current 29 million tons to 120-140 mt of LNG per year and take up to 15-20% of the market by 2035,” added HE Novak.

illustration: GECF
illustration: GECF

In his overview of the latest findings of the Outlook 2050, the GECF Secretary General HE Yury Sentyurin highlighted the vital role natural gas will play in the global energy mix by raising its share from currently 23% to 28% by 2050, thanks to its remarkable features of abundance, flexibility, affordability, and environmental efficiency.

HE Sentyurin said: “The complexity of factors and the multiplicity of stakeholders within the energy sector results in myriad shifting strategies that are shaping the new architecture of the future. Nevertheless, the mid- and long-term fundamental factors that favour natural gas remain unchanged. This plentiful, adaptable and, crucially, clean source of energy will expand across Asia Pacific, North American and Middle Eastern markets.”

In his statement, HE Mohammad Barkindo, OPEC’s Secretary General said: “The publication of the Global Gas Outlooktoday and OPEC’s contribution to it, are just another sign of the ever-expanding cooperation and dialogue between our two organisations. The potential of this dialogue is unlimited, and even that much more essential now, as, together, we unite with all of our industry stakeholders to accelerate the recovery from the ravages brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Joining from Riyadh, where the International Energy Forum (IEF) is headquartered, Secretary General HE Joseph McMonigle said: “As the only natural gas focused outlook by the major energy organisations, the GECF’s Global Gas Outlook makes a valuable contribution to global understanding of future energy trends.”

“As a cleaner alternative to other fossil fuels, natural gas offers the world a real chance to mitigate climate change and meet shared goals faster together. The IEF is committed to helping advance the role of readily available gas resources, new infrastructure solutions, and innovative technologies to facilitate smart stable and secure energy transitions in partnership with the GECF and other organisations,” continued McMonigle.

The high-ranking officials praised the necessary competencies achieved by the Forum, which, according to them, are increasingly sought-after at some of the world’s most authoritative platforms such as the United Nations, G20, ASEAN, BRICS, among others.

The GECF Global Gas Outlook 2050 is divided in six main sections, with Chapters I and II examining the global economic and energy price prospects and energy policy developments, respectively, in light of changing demographics, carbon price projections, post-COVID-19 recovery plans, and policy drivers. Chapter II explores the energy and gas demand with an in-depth look at the global and regional trends. Chapter IV provides a vantage point on natural gas production, the changing profile of gas production sources, as well as the steps being taken by the GECF members to remain the leading producers in the world. Chapter V shines the light on the important subject of gas trade and investment, whilst Chapter VI chalks out the role of natural gas in energy-related CO2 emissions with alternative scenarios on carbon mitigation.

Several of these topics were elaborated further at the event during a panel discussion, with the participation of a group of experts from the GECF, who served as the Outlook’s co-authors.

These experts highlighted the value of the Global Gas Model (GGM) – a unique highly granular tool developed in-house at the GECF Secretariat, which has been serving for modelling the GECF Global Gas Outlook. They mentioned that the GGM boasts the ability to focus on all segments of the gas value-chain such as production, pipelines, LNG, transportation, regasification, contracts, in an exclusive manner.

A synopsis version of the GECF Global Gas Outlook 2050 can be accessed at www.gecf.org/insights/global-gas-outlook.