In the new era of energy abundance, the United States is working to identify new opportunities for partnerships to form a structure of resilience and competition, said Francis R. Fannon, Assistant Secretary for Energy Resources, U.S Department of State.
During his Gastech Keynote Address titled ‘The Role of the United States in Promoting Global Energy Security Through Diplomacy,’ Fannon said through U.S. diplomatic relations, it has a strategic alliance in the Middle East with GCC and Jordan.
“This was kicked off a while ago but the recent attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities showed the importance and urgency for such cooperation,” he said.
U.S. President Donald Trump earlier this week said he would order for the release of crude oil from the country’s Strategic Petroleum Reserves to support the market if required.
The country last year became a net exporter of natural gas and it is still reconciling with this position of energy strength.
“We were on the 15th position (of global producers) until three years ago and now we’re third; around the world this creates new liquidity but also new market dynamics,” Fannon said.
The U.S. Department of State is involved with policy and regulations in other countries as it works on opportunities for U.S. gas companies. “We work with foreign countries to understand their energy ambition, which direction is the energy demand going if they want gas as a foundation. It’s not a switch that can be flipped. It requires regulatory structure, so we bring experts and take them around the world to help countries develop a regulatory framework to create the right conditions towards gas,” he said.
Fannon said one focus is the Indio-Pacific region because it accounts for a significant portion of the world energy consumption. The uptake of this program has been going well, he said.
Another focus is funding projects in poor countries; “U.S. recently passed a law to combine this practice and provide lending- we’re excited about the private sector development,” Fannon said.