Kuala Lumpur Brainstorm: Sustainable gas in Asia
The World Gas Congress in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia proved an engaged and interesting place to hold Energy Opportunities’ first brainstorm of 2012.
On the 42nd floor of the Petronas Towers CNBC tasked industry leaders, academics and policy makers to create a scenario whereby ‘It was 2035 and gas accounted for more than 50% of Asian energy consumption’. We encouraged each table to focus on a different point of view where some groups tackled our challenge from a policy perspective and others from a business perspective.
After nearly an hour of debating, drafting, voting and debating again the room had delved into our challenge and come up with some thought-provoking outcomes.
Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi from the Malaysian Development Board was first up to pitch to the room. According to table one, regional co-operation was needed in order for gas to meet the demands of a growing population.
Aldo Flores, Secretary General from IEF believed that the removal of energy subsidies, the implementation of a carbon tax and the refocusing of revenues to gas infrastructure were all imperative if the Asian energy mix was going to change so dramatically.
Patrick Tay from PWC stole the limelight at the pitching podium when he simply explained his tables’ solution through a humble supply and demand graph. According to him the key to this debate was pricing and we should re shift our focus from indexing gas against oil and instead allow the market to determine prices.
Brian Buckley from Oman LNG who was approaching our challenge from a business perspective took to the podium and good-humouredly told the other policy led tables to listen up because ‘without business there is no GDP let alone growth in GDP’. His table decided that we needed responsible energy thinking and should shift our focus away from coal.
As thoughts focusing on infrastructure, pricing and co-ordinated energy thinking encapsulated the room; table seven approached the podium and brought a fresh perspective to the discussion. Delivered by Ryan McKee from AGL Energy this group believed that public perception and changing the view of unconventional (shale) gas was crucial.
Indeed the notion of China replicating the US shale gas boom was widely discussed among most of the groups.
The evening concluded when we heard table five’s winning idea about the need for investment in E&P technologies which would lead to abundant discoveries in both conventional and unconventional gas reserves. And this essentially was the watershed moment for the CNBC Kuala Lumpur brainstorm!