5 CEOs say why natural gas is crucial for a sustainable energy future

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Speaking at the WGC in Paris, BP’s Bob Dudley, Shells’ Ben van Beurden, Chevron’s John S. Watson, ExxonMobil’s Rex Tillerson and Qatargas’ Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa Al-Thani said natural gas should become the fuel of choice for generating electricity in many countries. They highlighted the benefits of natural gas and why they believe gas and LNG will play a key role in meeting future energy needs. Here are their views:

Natural gas can improve standards of living: Chevron’s chief executive John S. Watson said “Yet there are still approximately 1.4 billion people who still have no access to electricity, and a billion more who only have access to unreliable electricity networks”.

He added that the industry is working to grow supplies of natural gas as access to clean, reliable and affordable energy is crucial to ending extreme poverty.

Natural gas can help meet the world’s growing energy demand: According to BP’s Bob Dudley “The world’s energy demand is projected to grow by around 35% by 2035”, led by non-OECD countries such as China and India.

“Gas has an increasing part to play here as countries are able to access more diverse sources of supply – and develop more of their own,” he added.

Natural gas is abundant: “Globally, the EIA reports that there are more than 15 thousand trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable conventional gas and over 7,000 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable shale gas resources” Chevron’s Watson said during his keynote speech.

Shale gas developments opening up new resources: The executives encouraged countries such as China, Argentina and Algeria to support domestic shale gas developments, although only China is expected to see large volumes of production in the next ten years.

LNG demand is set to increase: “There is a raft of new LNG projects globally which are expected to add around 20 billion cubic feet a day to the market by 2020.

“In fact, our forecasts show LNG overtaking piped gas as the dominant form of traded product by 2035,”said BP’s Bod Dudley.

New pipeline projects to ensure security of supply: A series of new pipeline projects will be developed all around the world to guarantee security of supply such as “the new 3,500km Southern Corridor between the Shah Deniz gas field in the Caspian and southern Europe”, as Bod Dudley highlighted.

Natural gas and renewables can complement each other: Qatargas CEO Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa Al-Thani said, “Renewables alone cannot meet world demand for sustainable clean energy. No energy portfolio can be considered reliable without natural gas”.

In light of this, Shell’s Ben van Beurden added, “Pairing gas-fired power with renewables will be the fastest and cheapest route for many countries to lower emissions while maintaining a reliable energy system”.

Environmental benefits: Executives showed that natural gas can reduce pollution and offer a number of environmental benefits. Chief executive Rex Tillerson said that “natural gas emits up to 60% less carbon dioxide than coal when used for power generation, natural gas from shale has been instrumental in reducing carbon dioxide emissions [in the US] to levels not seen since the 1990s.”

Natural gas brings economic benefits: Natural gas developments bring economic benefits to governments and local communities. As Rex Tillerson explained, “In North America new supply of oil and natural gas have created and supported millions of jobs, led to manufacturing resurgence; and increased government revenues – all during a severe recession and through an ongoing period of anemic economic growth.”

Natural gas is flexible and economic: According to Shell’s Ben van Beurden, “gas plants are cheaper and quicker to build than coal plants. And “gas-fired plant takes less time to start and stop than coal-fired plants”.

If the right government policies ad regulations are implemented, natural gas can play a key role in meeting rising demand for energy while reducing methane and CO2 emissions. Will gas overtake coal and oil? Is natural gas the best candidate to meet future energy needs? Let us know your views below.

Qatargas' Chief Operating Officer Alaa Abujbara and Shell's Global Head of LNG Roger Bounds will discuss key gas market dynamics and players at Gastech Singapore in October. Follow the banner to know more about the conference programme:

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