In the face of global gas shortages, leading figures in the international energy sector praised the virtues of liquefied natural gas (LNG) during the energy transition, labelling it a ‘key partner’ to renewables.

The 10th edition of the LNG Producer-Consumer Conference saw a gathering of governmental and industrial energy leaders in Doha, Qatar discuss the future for collaboration between LNG producers and consumers including conversations centred around reducing cost and optimising operations.

An advantage of LNG is seen as its ability to provide energy during periods of market volatility, described by Yury Sentyurin, Secretary General, Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), as ‘cementing its own place’ during the recent pandemic-led market shocks.

“As a result, the delivered volume of LNG in 2020 rose despite all the shipping restrictions, which again indicates the reliability of natural gas during harsh conditions,” he added.

Sentyurin also emphasised the need to develop an understanding of the needs of Asian buyers, as 61% of GECF’s LNG exports are destined for Asia, making it a potential ‘driver’ for global LNG demand.

Despite this, he issued a warning that anti-fossil fuel policies may be threatening the opportunity for investment across the LNG sector, saying that 90% of emissions along the LNG supply chain can be mitigated with current technologies.

Recognised as a ‘flag-bearer’ of LNG, Japan uses the fuel to produce electricity, a significant achievement for the world’s third-largest economy by nominal GDP.

The advancement of LNG-use in Asia contributed heavily to global LNG trade growing by 1.4% year-on-year in 2020, according to the GECF.

Although this growth is significant, Saad Sherida Al-Kaab, Qatar’s Minister of State for Energy Affair and CEO and President of Qatar Petroleum, believes that a successful energy transition has to be a ‘shared responsibility’ with producers, governments, and consumers realising that the immediate replacement of fossil fuels with renewables is ‘not realistic nor reasonable’.

Al-Kaab stated that Qatar, the world’s largest exporter of LNG, is currently contributing to this shared responsibility by exploring the decarbonisation of its ‘LNG value chain’ by using carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies to sequester more than nine million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year by 2030.

Other countries involved in the event included Angola, Egypt, Malaysia, Norway, and Russia.

Following the establishment of the East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF), headquartered in Egypt, Eng Tarek El Molla, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources of Egypt said that natural gas must be seen as a ‘catalyst for peace’ in the region, rather than just a source of energy.