When Gastech News asked Martin Houston about his views on what the industry should do to advocate increased demand, he told us: "The industry needs to start looking at all forms of possible uses of gas - we’re very simple in the way we think about gas demands today: big industrial use, big power generation use, and gas reticulation in homes. However, there are many other opportunities and smaller pockets of demand. For instance, Europe, but in many other areas around the world too, areas that are fueled by liquid fuel because there is no gas infrastructure. Of course gas infrastructure is expensive, so finding a way of accessing those markets in a new, low-‐cost, more efficient, credit worthy way is something that I think has become the new narrative for the gas industry.
It’s true we’re seeing flat demand now, but what are we going to do to change that equation? Of course some of that will come from coal replacement in power generation. But, we have to think more creatively than just competing head-‐to-‐head with coal in the power game. Gas is a wonderful fuel: it’s transportable and it’s very flexible, and gas can go to places where coal cannot go. In addition, gas can be a cheaper alternative than oil because where oil goes, it’s sold at a very expensive price. And of course, gas is also cleaner than both coal and gas, and abundant in the worldwide market and through LNG transport.
So for me, it’s about finding these new sources of demand and being more creative about the way we access them: putting credit packages together which are more appropriate for the markets we serve, looking at project finance or equity financing, or even debt financing in a different way -‐ shorter tenure and much more flexibility. I’m excited about the opportunity for global gas demands to increase; it’s clear the industry is going to have to do something about it. If we’re not able to show that gas demand is rising on a long term basis across a 500 BCMA market and in this low gas price environment, then we’ve got a lot of work to do ahead of us."
Join the conversation: How can the gas industry advance gas advocacy and work together with key European and international stakeholders? Share your views below.
Martin Houston, Chairman of the European Autumn Gas Conference Executive Advisory Board, will be discussing the theme “Beyond COP-21: Rethinking European Gas without the Global Energy Mix” at the 2016 EAGC Conference in The Hague, 15-17 November 2016.
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