In Depth: Report from the World Gas Conference in Amsterdam

On Thursday morning, June 8, Gaz de France’s chief executive Jean-Francois Cirelli delivered the keynote address at WGC 2006 on the “dynamic and buoyant,” increasingly global natural gas market. He offered the possibility that by 2020 LNG could represent 40% of the global natural gas market, and suggested that Gaz de France’s merger with Suez, both of which are significant stakeholders in the global LNG market, will contribute to that increase and “ensure security of supply.” Cirelli concluded that “LNG is indispensable to balance and compliment other [fuel] sources,” but stressed that the favorable outlook for the natural gas and LNG market remains conditioned on current elevated prices and security of supply.

Later, a strategic panel entitled “the Art of Regulation” included speakers from Latin America, Australia, Japan, Russia, Portugal and the United States discussing regulatory issues impacting the development of the natural gas industry. FERC’s J. Mark Robinson highlighted the Hackberry Doctrine approved by FERC, calling it a success story in federal regulation providing ultimate benefits to consumers. Gazprom Deputy Chairman Alexander Medvedev, in response to a question from the audience regarding Russia’s views on third-party access to capacity, stressed that Gazprom thinks competition is “fine” but should be limited to entities that display certain characteristics. Asserting that Gazprom is not a threat to security of supply, Medvedev emphasized that Gazprom is prepared to deliver all contracted-for volumes to Europe but “will not tolerate interference” with its business model by European regulators.

Our previous coverage of the World Gas Conference is available in our In Depth section. For more information please contact David Wochner.

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