Eurasia has potential to become single gas market

Nov 14, 2003 01:00 AM

The countries of Eurasia have the potential to create a single market for natural gas. This was the conclusion of a Conference on "Eurasian Natural Gas: Opportunities and Risks" held in Brussels on 12-13 November.
The Conference was organized by the Energy Charter Secretariat together with the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (OGP) and the European Union of the Natural Gas Industry (EuroGas).

It brought together over 200 participants from governments, energy companies, financial institutions and international organizations, with the aim of discussing the creation of a single market for gas trade and investments in Eurasia. It also highlighted the obstacles that need to be overcome to make this goal a reality. Among the keynote speakers were senior figures from industry, the EU institutions and inter-governmental bodies.
Key issues raised during the Conference included the development of greater gas supply security and competition across the Eurasian continent, and the need for effective cooperation aimed at establishing more liberalized regimes of access to national gas pipeline networks in transition economies. Participants in the Conference underlined the need to find solutions to the issues raised, as part of the creation of the right long-term climate for increased investments in gas production and transportation in Eurasia, for the benefit of consumers, industry, and general economic growth.

In his concluding address, Energy Charter Conference Chairman Henning Christophersen noted that huge investments are needed if the Eurasian continent is to maximize its potential economic advantages as a single gas trading area, and the risks associated with these investments therefore need to be reduced to the minimum possible.
"Neither governments nor industry have all the answers to the challenges that exist in this area, and it is therefore vital that they join forces in discussing them, in order to develop policy approaches that take into account the needs and interests of both producers and consumers", said Christophersen. "This Conference represented a step forward in promoting such a discussion, bringing together as it did many of the key actors involved from across the Eurasian area".

Background notes about the Conference's organizing bodies:
The Energy Charter Secretariat, located in Brussels, serves the Energy Charter Conference, an inter-governmental organisation in which fifty-one European and Asian states participate.
The Conference is the decision-making body for the Energy Charter Treaty, which was signed in 1994 and entered into force in 1998. The Treaty establishes a legal framework for cooperation between governments, covering energy investments, trade, transit, energy efficiency and dispute settlement procedures.

The International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (OGP) represents the oil and gas industry before international bodies such as the International Maritime Organization, Regional Seas Conventions and other groups under the UNumbrella. OGP also works with the World Bank and with the International Organization for Standardization.
At the regional level, OGP is the industry representative to the European Union Institutions and the OSPAR Convention for the North East Atlantic. Equally important is OGP's role in promulgating best practices in the areas of health, safety, the environment and social responsibility. OGP membership spans the globe and accounts for more than half of the world's oil output and about one third of global gas production.

EuroGas (the European Union of the Natural Gas Industry) is a non-profit international association based in Brussels. EuroGas represents 19 European countries, including associated members. For each country, either a national federation or individual organisations jointly represent the membership in EuroGas.
A national delegation is formed by the main gas companies and organisations represented. EuroGas promotes gas industry co-operation and represents the European natural gas industry in dealings with European Union, all other relevant bodies at international level, and, last but not least, public opinion.

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