- GECF’s 21st Ministerial meeting took place in Moscow, Russia, on October 3, 2019, under the chairmanship of H.E. Manuel Salvador Quevedo Fernandez, People’s Power Minister of Petroleum of Venezuela, as the President of the Ministerial meeting.
- Official delegations from Algeria, Bolivia, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, Azerbaijan and Oman attended the meeting.
- Equatorial Guinea will host the 5th Summit of GECF Heads of State and Government, on 26-29 November 2019, in Malabo.
Natural gas’ combination of convenience, affordability and environmental soundness sets it on the verge of it becoming one of the main energy resources globally. During the The Gas Exporting Countries Forum’s (GECF’s) 21st Ministerial meeting, which took place in Moscow, Russia, on October 3, 2019, Minister H.E. Minister Alexander Novak, Minister of Energy of Russia, underlined that 2018 was a record year globally for the growth of natural gas consumption, with a 5 percent increase from the previous year, reaching 3,95 trillion cubic meters. Similar growth was noted in pipeline gas trade (+eight percent), while liquefied natural gas trade grew by around 10 percent.
GECF Secretary, Dr Yuri Sentyurin, has been working toward enhancing the role of the GECF as an Observer Intergovernmental Organization to the United Nations (UN) Framework Convention on Climate Change. The goal is to promote the utilization of natural gas as a prime fuel of choice and design an environmental actions framework. Subsequently, the Ministers extended Dr. Sentyurin’s term for a period of two years, starting in January 2020.
A key point of the meeting was the emphasis on natural gas as a socio-economic inclusion tool and the importance of designing frameworks to allow access for poorer populations to modern energy services, while providing an affordable, accessible, reliable and clean source of power. As such, natural gas will serve an essential role in reaching the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
During the GECF Summit in Malabo in November 2019, social inclusion and development goals will be key points of discussions, with a dedicated closing panel involving high-level stakeholders. Hosted by the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea as part of its Year of Energy initiative, the summit is a testimony of the smallest member country’s dedication to developing the natural gas value chain, not only in the country, but also across Africa.
H.E. Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea, Gabriel Obiang Lima stated: “As the smallest member country of the organization, we are very thankful for the support shown by H.E. Minister Alexander Novak and H.E. Minister Manuel Quevedo, who have already confirmed their participation in the GECF Summit this year. Our objective will be to encourage African countries to use more natural gas in their economies, as gas is more environmentally friendly as well cheaper overall.”
Natural gas production and consumption and skyrocketing numbers coupled with the GECF’s push to increase the organization’s influence on the global stage means investment is a possibility, specifically to develop the natural gas value chain globally in the next few months and years. Thanks to lower costs, higher environmental friendliness and increased price stability, natural gas fits global development and environmental goals.