There is no one-size-fits-all model in the global fight against climate change, the Secretary General of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) has said.
Speaking at the annual Baku Energy Forum, Mohamed Hamel said that as future energy pathways will vary from one country to another, natural gas is the one source of energy that has the potential to fit most pathways.
Joining a number of panellists in an Executive Talks session at the Baku Energy Forum, the successor to the Caspian Oil and Gas Conference, the official explained that every nation fighting the climate change will have its own unique factors to deal with depending on respective resource endowment, geographic, economic, financial and technological capabilities as well as priorities, consumer behaviour and international cooperation.
“Natural gas helps to transition away from the use of wood and dung for cooking, improves air quality; notably in densely populated megacities, and provides stability to power grids and much-needed backup. Coal-to-gas switching constitutes another cost-effective mitigation means, in power generation and in the industry.
“The potential in developing countries is huge.”
Hamel was in Baku to attend the Caspian region’s biggest energy event, Baku Energy Week, which ran from 1-3 June and featured the 27th International Caspian Oil and Gas Exhibition, the 10th Anniversary Caspian International Energy and Alternative Energy Exhibition and the Baku Energy Forum.
Azerbaijan enjoys the Observer status at the 19-member GECF since 2015.
Hamel emphasised the importance of investment. “Natural gas reserves are plentiful. However, turning reserves into supply requites investment. One must be mindful that natural gas projects are capital intensive, upfront loaded and with long lead times,” he said, while adding that underinvestment can only lead to higher prices and extreme volatility.
Separately, in a one-on-one meeting, Hamel thanked Parviz Shahbazov, the Minister of Energy of Azerbaijan, for inviting the GECF to be an active participant at Baku Energy Week. Acknowledging the role of Azerbaijan in the global energy landscape as an important player, the official referred to Baku as the cradle of the petroleum industry – it is here that the world’s first oil well was drilled in 1846. HE Hamel also received a tour of Azerbaijan’s Sangachal oil and gas terminal.