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7 June 2011, Dagens Næringsliv, Norway

Oil around the current level of close to $120 a barrel risks tipping the world economy into a double dip recession, the International Energy Agencys chief economist said today. "If you dont see any softening of the prices, there is a risk of derailing the economy, of a double-dip," Birol told the Reuters Global Energy and Climate Change Summit in London. The market has yet to match the 2008 record of more than $147, but Birol noted the average for this year was already higher than in 2008 and the world economy was more fragile. An average of $100 a barrel would mean fuel import bills cost the equivalent of 2.3 percent of gross domestic product and at current levels, the cost was closer to 3 percent, Birol said.

7 June 2011, Forbes

Fatih Birol, chief economist of the International Energy Agency, said that the current price of $120 per barrel could be the catalyst for a global economic crisis on the scale of the one experienced in 2008. "If you dont see any softening of the prices, there is a risk of derailing the economy, of a double-dip," Dr Birol told the Reuters Global Energy and Climate Change Summit. "We all know what happened in 2008. Are we going to see the same movie?", he added.

7 June 2011, BBC News

High crude prices may derail growth in China and India, the two economies that helped the world overcome financial crisis, the International Energy Agency said today in Singapore."High oil prices are a significant risk to derailing the economic recovery not only in the OECD countries, but also in China and India," the IEAs Chief Economist Fatih Birol told Reuters. "China and India are two most important economies which helped us get out of the economic crisis. If they go for tightening of monetary policies, this may lead to a slowdown in their economies which is bad news for all of us."

7 June 2011, Wall Street Journal

The Chinese yuan will play a more important role in the global oil market as Chinas consumption continues to grow rapidly, Mr Fatih Birol, chief economist at the International Energy Agency, said yesterday at the sidelines of a conference in Singapore. With rising incomes, Chinas oil demand is forecast to rise by more than 20 per cent in the next five years to 12.05 million barrels a day, the IEA said. The countrys refining capacity is expected to increase by 3.3 million barrels a day during the 2011-2016 period, accounting for a third of global growth, the Paris-based agency noted. "(A more important role for yuan) is what the Chinese government wants also," Mr Birol said.

6 June 2011, Guardian

Natural gas could be set to enter a "golden age," accounting for more than a quarter of global energy demand by 2035, according to a report from the International Energy Agency released Monday. The report illustrates a "high gas scenario" with ample supplies, robust emerging market demand and increasing uncertainty about nuclear power all pointing to a more prominent role for gas in the global energy mix. The increased available supply of gas through unconventional gas discoveries is set to reduce average gas prices, said the report. In addition, gas demand is expected to grow through Chinas implementation of an ambitious gas use policy and lower growth of nuclear power. To meet Chinas growth in demand by 2035 annual gas production must increase by 1.8 trillion cubic meters, which represents about three times the current production of Russia. More than 40% of the increase in demand will come from unconventional gas sources, says the report. “Are We Entering a Golden Age of Gas?” is a special report of the IEAs annual World Energy Outlook 2011 to be published November 9.

6 June 2011, Platts

The prospect of new unconventional gas resources across the globe will push world gas demand past coal just after 2025 and is to come close to oil around 2035, according to the International Energy Agency’s new report entitled “Are We Entering a Golden Age of Gas?” published today in London. The IEA also said that the steep increase expected in gas demand would end the current gas glut by 2015, by when demand would begin to outstrip supply. The report said around 40 percent of the increase in global gas production between now and 2035 will come from unconventional gas exploration, such as fracking shale gas or exploiting coalbed methane gas, also known as coal seam gas. The IEA also said it expects Australia to become one of the worlds top exporters of liquefied natural gas (LNG) by 2020, catching up with current leader Qatar. According to the agency, the increase in unconventional gas exploration is good news in terms of securing global energy supply, as production will be widely distributed across North and South America, China, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

6 June 2011, Al Arabiya News

Global natural-gas use may rise more than 50 percent by 2035 from last year to overtake coal as the second-most used fuel, the International Energy Agency said today, presenting the report titled “Are We Entering a Golden Age of Gas?”. The new assumptions for increased gas use are based on growing demand for the fuel in China, slowing growth of nuclear power, increased production of gas from so-called unconventional sources including shale, lower gas prices and rising use in transport, the IEA said. “A greater role for gas in the global energy mix may mean world temperatures rise by 3.5 degrees Celsius”, IEA Chief Economist Fatih Birol told reporters today in London. “This gas scenario does not keep us to a 2-degree Celsius trajectory that we would like to see,” Birol said. Scientists say carbon emissions blamed for causing climate change must peak by around 2015 to limit temperature rises to 2 degrees Celsius.

6 June 2011, Bloomberg Businessweek

The International Energy Agency expects global gas demand to overtake coal before 2030, and come close to oil around 2035, its chief economist Fatih Birol said during the presentation today of the IEA’s new report entitled “Are We Entering A Golden Age Of Gas?”. The IEA said that it expects global gas demand to grow by an average of two percent a year, compared with a 1.2 percent growth in annual total energy demand. Birol said that this increase will end the current gas glut by 2015, by when demand would begin to outstrip supply. According to the IEA, key drivers of gas growth will be Chinas 12th five-year plan, which envisages a steep increase in gas generation, as well as rising demand from gas-powered transport vehicles, especially in the United States and India. Birol said that Chinas gas growth is motivated by local environmental concerns. "Worldwide, 16 out of the 20 most polluted cities are in China, largely related from coal power plant pollutions, and for this reason, China is pushing for gas to replace a lot of coal power production," he said. In the U.S., Birol said that "60 percent of coal power plants will retire in the next 20 years due to old age, and there is a strong chance that a large proportion will be replaced by gas." But Birol warned that while gas will increasingly replace highly pollutive coal and oil power generation, its steep rise will also come at the cost of low-carbon technologies such as nuclear, and even renewable power generation.

6 June 2011, Reuters

The new report released on Monday by the International Energy Agency projects that natural gas could make up 25 percent of the global energy mix in 2035, up from 21 percent now, replacing coal, nuclear and some power from renewable sources like wind and solar. The drivers of the fuel’s growing popularity are uncertainty about nuclear power after the recent Japanese disaster, an anticipated boom in demand from China and, most important, the widespread development of gas fields from unconventional sources like shale rock. The IEA study made the point that natural gas deposits are spread around the world and offer many countries more energy security. But it cautioned that “an increased share of natural gas in the global energy mix is far from enough on its own to put us on a carbon emissions path consistent with an average global temperature rise of no more than 2 degrees Celsius,” or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Asked if environmental concerns were a major impediment to greatly expanded production of natural gas, Fatih Birol, the IEA’s chief economist acknowledged that they were a hurdle but added, “The good news is most of the issues related to water and chemical use and the greenhouse gas issue can be addressed by better regulations, stiff regulations and companies using the best practices.”

6 June 2011, New York Times

A “golden” age of increased gas production and consumption depends on unconventional gas gaining wider acceptance, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said today. Global gas use could rise more than 50% to 5.1 trillion cubic meters by 2035, making up more than 25% of energy demand, according to the IEA’s latest gas report. Gas is also forecast to overtake coal by 2030, with unconventional gas expected to meet 40% of demand during “the golden age of gas” – but only if hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is embraced. “We think the golden age of gas hinges on, among other things, whether or not the gas industry is able to address this issue,” Fatih Birol, IEA chief economist, said. “And we believe if strict regulation and best practices are applied, we can mitigate risks”, Birol added.