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Policy drives clean energy initiatives in big gas import and export countries

Sep 18, 2019
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Big gas consumption countries such as India and Pakistan and major producers like the United States and Algeria are prioritising regulations to develop clean energy to meet rising demand.

During the Ministerial Panel on the first day of Gastech, “What Changes to Policy and New Regulation will be Required to Ensure the Gas Industry Captures the Benefits of Transformation?” speakers from Pakistan, India, Algeria and the U.S. discussed the key challenges regulations can address.

Nadeem Babar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) of the Petroleum Division of Pakistan said the country, which has a small carbon emissions footprint, is looking at a holistic view when it comes to developing the local energy industry and meeting demand.

“Pakistan used to be a gas country until the end of the 1990s - we are trying to revive that by opening up the LNG market,” said Babar. The country is privatising the LNG market for companies to be able to import and sell LNG to the domestic market.

Additionally, it has also set the agenda to replace the use of coal with gas to counter the impact of emissions causing global climate change.

“By 2030, Pakistan will have 65 per cent of its electricity generated from renewables, with the remaining from gas,” Babar said. Currently, Pakistan imports 1.2 bcf of gas.

Algeria, one of the top gas producers in the world, is going tough on gas flaring, according to Fatma Zohra Cherfi, the country’s Deputy Minister of Energy.

“Algeria has to adjust its hydrocarbon policy three times to promote the attractiveness of the sector and expand exploration and production,” she said. This included prohibiting gas flaring and intensifying the exploration for offshore gas.

“Today, 140 bcm gas is flared every where , which is equivalent to 350 million tons of CO2 emissions and about 3.5 per cent of world consumption. This is a waste of energy the world cannot afford,” Cherfi said.

Algeria successfully has drastically brought down flaring in the country to improve energy efficiency.

Meanwhile, in the United States, technology plays a key role to address energy efficiency when it comes to production as well as cutting back emissions.

Steven Winberg, Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy for the U.S. said: “ We ought to be focusing on technology and improving regulations. If we do those two, we can have energy security, strong energy economy, lot of jobs and also protect the environment.”

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