Malcolm Brinded, the executive director for upstream business at Royal Dutch Shell told an audience in Cairo that energy supplies were under pressure from increasing demand and population pressures. “Even with heavy investment in all energy sources – from oil and natural gas, to biofuels, nuclear power, solar and wind – it will be extremely tough for the world to keep pace with rising demand” he said.
These comments will reassure members of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF). Who have been hard hit by the slump in prices over the last year, with North American prices dropping 28% from their December 2009 levels. The price drops have led to the Algerian Energy Minister calling for production cuts to buoy up prices.
“We see global gas demand growing by at least 2% a year over some decades, so by 2030 we look at gas demand hitting 4.5 trillion m3/yr,” said Malcolm Brinded, “That’s 50% up from today’s levels.”
Despite the tough year that LNG has had, he predicted that global LNG demand would double in the next decade driven by increasing industrialisation and increasing use of gas for power generation. According to the International Energy Agency there are sufficient reserves to meet this global demand with 250 years of recoverable gas reserves. The problem is that it will take some US$ 5 trillion over the next 20 years in order to extract the gas.