Gastech keynote speakers from Canada, Singapore and Shell voice optimism on future gas transition

Tuesday, 15 September 2020
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LNG News Editor

Keynote speakers at the first Gastech Virtual Summit, including Ministers from Singapore and Canada and the head of Integrated Gas at Royal Dutch Shell, have voiced optimism about the future of LNG and natural gas and their managed role in the energy

The Summit got under way with the title “Connecting the Gas, LNG and Energy Industry” and was a replacement event for the postponed Conference & Exhibition scheduled for Singapore.

Hope for 2021

The Singapore real Gastech Conference is now scheduled to take place in the Asian city-state in 2021.

The Virtual Summit first day included strategic and technical content, presentations and speeches online to address the collective challenges and opportunities the industry faces.

The Summit limited to broadcasts on the Web was decided upon by the Singapore organizers because of Covid-19 and concerns over accessibility and the wellbeing of speakers, delegates, exhibitors and visitors.

The Singapore Minister of Trade and Industry, Chan Chun Sing, was given the honour of being the first keynote speaker in the replacement Virtual Summit.

He outlined Singapore’s plans for more LNG imports and its intention to play a leading role in global LNG bunkering.

“In Singapore, the import of energy is expected to continue to increase its share in our energy mix,” said Chan.

“The Energy Market Authority has issued a request for proposals to appoint up to two new LNG importers for Singapore to enhance competition and to provide more options for gas buyers,” added the Minister.

“These proposals will be evaluated based on their ability to provide reliable secure and competitive supply of LNG to Singapore,” stated Chan.

Seamus O’Regan, the Canadian Natural Resources Minister, stated that Canada would not be able to meet its environmental goals without the oil and gas industry.

“Canada's energy assets are the envy of the world,” O’Regan asserted.

“Natural gas will continue to grow for decades to come even as renewable sources of energy increase their market share,” added the Minister.

“This bodes well for Canada, not just because we are the world's fourth-largest producer of natural gas, but because we have decades of expertise,” explained O’Regan.

The Minister added that his nation’s Indigenous Peoples largely supported the LNG industry such as Royal Dutch Shell’s LNG Canada joint venture and were taking stakes in projects.

“Canada's energy and natural resources will play a critical role in the development and operation of tomorrow's green economy and people will want to be invested in Canada over the short, medium and long term,” he stated.

Maarten Wetselaar, Royal Dutch Shell’s Integrated Gas and New Energies Director, told the summit that companies would aim to bring down methane emissions, but natural gas and LNG would remain important for many years to come.

“We still cannot model a large power markets that run without natural gas even 30 years from now,” explained the Shell executive.

“I cannot think how you would ever produce petrochemicals without starting with the molecule and natural gas is the obvious one,” he stated.

“The industry also needs ways to mitigate the hard-to-avoid methane emissions and that's why the energy sector must pursue ways to offset or mitigate these emissions,” said Wetselaar.

“One very exciting way is to reduce the concentration of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere by protecting and working with nature, by planting trees and starting carbon-capture ventures,” he added.

“If you look at what has just happened you could say it's a dress-rehearsal for the moment when oil and gas peak, which we don't think has arrived,” he continued, in reference to Covid-19 and the oil price crash.

“Yet, we think that it will be some time from now when there will be a recovery in demand before you actually reach peak demand,” he said.

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