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Single global gas price unlikely: IEA chief

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Maria van der Hoeven,
Executive Director,
International Energy Agency.
— Ramesh Sharma
Maria van der Hoeven, Executive Director, International Energy Agency. — Ramesh Sharma

The development of natural gas trading hubs in Asia will be critical, but will not happen overnight, according to Maria van der Hoeven, Executive Director, International Energy Agency (IEA).

The IEA is a France-based autonomous organisation that seeks to ensure reliable, affordable and clean energy for its 28 member countries.

New LNG supplies will accelerate the movement towards a more inter-connected global market, but high costs of transportation between regions mean ‘no single global gas price’, she said.

Stating that India will be the second largest natural gas importer in the world by 2035, she said: “China, then India, drives the growing dominance of Asia in global energy demand and trade.”

Regional price gaps and concerns over competitiveness are here to stay, but there are ways to react, van der Hoeven said.

“Gas market reforms in the Asia-Pacific region and LNG exports from North America could narrow the regional price gas,” the IEA head said.

Commenting on today’s global energy scene, she said some long-held tenets of the energy sector are being re-written. “Countries are switching roles — importers are becoming exporters and exporters are among the major sources of growing demand. Besides, new supply options reshape ideas about distribution of resources,” van der Hoeven said.

richa.mishra@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on December 3, 2013)
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