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21 June 2011, Reuters

Qatar, the Persian Gulf emirate that is the worlds largest exporter of liquefied natural gas, is poised for a sharp rise in the value and volume of its exports of the super-cooled fuel this year, benefiting from the troubles in Japans nuclear industry and from surging demand for energy elsewhere in Asia. "Post Fukushima, there will be a lot of opportunities," said Dr. Fatih Birol, chief economist for the International Energy Agency. "Japan and Korea have new long-term contracts in the next four years, and China demand is booming—as of 2015 they will have to import as much as Europe today", Dr. Birol said.

21 June 2011, Dow Jones

The development of shale gas has transformed the North American energy landscape and its supporters believe unconventional gas has the ability to revolutionise the European market, which is also home to vast resources. The industry, however, is facing uncertain times as governments and regulators try to balance concerns about the impact on the environment of the technology used to extract the gas with the need for a viable source of energy that has lower carbon dioxide emissions than coal. Fatih Birol, the chief economist of the International Energy Agency, warned in June that if companies wanted to see a golden age for natural gas they would need to come up with “golden standards of practice” for developing unconventional resources. Read the full article on the FT site (registration required).

21 June 2011, Al Arabiya

Governments and taxpayers spent about half a trillion dollars last year supporting the production and consumption of fossil fuels, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said today. "In a period of persistently high energy prices, subsidies represent a significant economic liability," it said in an extract of its annual World Energy Outlook, which is due to be published in full on November 9. The IEA estimated such subsidies at $409 billion in 2010, compared to $312 billion in 2009. Oil products had the largest subsidies at $193 billion in 2010 while $91 billion went to natural gas. Iran and Saudi Arabia had the biggest subsidies. "Its a huge amount of money," the IEAs Chief Economist Fatih Birol told reporters, "without further reform, spending on fossil fuel consumption subsidies is set to reach $660 billion in 2020, or 0.7 percent of global gross domestic product," Birol added. In 2010, Birol had forecast that fossil fuel subsidies would reach $600 billion as early as 2015 without further reforms. He said the slower rate of growth was partly due to efforts in certain major countries including China and India. "This is thanks to the improvements in India, China, Russia. They have made significant efforts. We have to be fair," he said, adding that only 8 percent of those subsidies reached the poorest population.

21 June 2011, Economic Times, India

ossil-fuel subsidies may rise to $660 billion in 2020 from $409 billion in 2010, according to the International Energy Agency. The biggest payers of subsidies are energy producers Iran, Saudi Arabia and Russia, the IEA and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said today at a presentation of a joint study. The report recommends changing the subsidies to curb government spending and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. “Making energy cheap means we use fuel in a wasteful manner,” Fatih Birol, the IEA’s chief economist, said in Paris. “Without reforms, subsidies will increase to about 0.7 percent of global gross domestic product.” The poorest 20 percent of the population got 8 percent of the $409 billion last year, Birol said. More than 1 billion people in the world have no access to power and these subsidies aren’t getting to them, he said.

15 June 2011, Reuters

Persistently high oil prices could derail global economic recovery and potentially lead to a similar growth picture seen in the 2008 recession, the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned today. “My worry is that the current prices (are) a major risk for the global economic recovery and I’m very worried to see the same movie that we saw in the year 2008,” said IEA chief economist Fatih Birol. He said that there is “strong potential” that this year’s surging oil prices could further unsettle already weak international economies, impacting Asian energy hubs India and China, the two largest and fastest growing economies in the world.

15 June 2011, Telegraph

Prices for Brent have peaked at just above $127 a barrel so far this year although it fell to around $111 on Tuesday as uncertainties about how Greeces debt crisis could be resolved spurred risk aversion. But still "if you look at the average over the year, oil prices are still significantly higher than average of 2008," the IEA’s chief economist Dr. Fatih Birol said, "when looking at the next couple of quarters we expect that there will be strong demand growth and sluggish non-OPEC production." Higher oil prices will also lead to a rise in fuel subsidies despite efforts by China and Iran to reduce it, he said. The subsidy bill for 2010 may be higher than the $312 billion reached in the previous year, he added.

8 June 2011, China Daily

The world is poised at the dawning of a “Golden Age” for natural gas, in which natural gas will overtake the use of coal in the world’s energy mix by 2030, according to a report released yesterday by the International Energy Agency (IEA). This analysis by the Paris-based organization is a special report of its annual publication, the World Energy Outlook, released in November. The IEA study bases its s scenario analysis on four factors: China’s shift away from coal and toward natural gas, a post-Fukushima environment that is hostile to nuclear power, the growing use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to power vehicles, and new sources for natural gas that will help keep its price low for years. However, environmental concerns cannot be ignored, Fatih Birol, the IEA’s chief economist, said at a London press conference yesterday. “If the companies want to see the golden age of gas,” he told reporters, “they need to apply golden standards for the best practices in order to produce unconventional gas.”

7 June 2011, Xinhua News Agency

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has said increasing gas supplies from unconventional sources could encourage demand to rise to levels exceeding coal by 2030 and coming close to oil by 2035 if certain conditions are met, Reuters has reported. If governments introduce sound environmental regulation and companies implement what the IEA calls golden standards of practice around unconventional production, gas could become so important that the world could enter a "golden age of gas," the agency said.

7 June 2011, AME Info, United Arab Emirates

The increasing abundance of cheap natural gas, coupled with rising demand for the fuel from China and the fall-out from the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, may have set the stage for a "golden age of gas," the International Energy Agency said Monday. Under a scenario set out by the IEA, global consumption of natural gas could rise by more than 50% over the next 25 years, with it accounting for more than a quarter of global energy demand by 2035, up from 21% now. Fatih Birol, the IEAs chief economist, said the agencys high gas consumption scenario depended on a number of factors—among them, the industrys ability to fully address public concerns about fracking, excessive water use and the risk of contamination. "If gas companies want to see a golden age of gas, they need to apply golden standards for...producing gas," he said.

7 June 2011, The Wall Street Journal