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CERAWeek Reflections on Gas

16 March 2018 Shankari Srinivasan

With CERAWeek now complete, four words stand out to describe the presentation and tone of the discussion on natural gas.

Optimism.

The mood on global gas demand and its future growth was upbeat and optimistic. One speaker went so far as to say that the gas participants should be “dancing in the halls.”

Momentum.

In 2017, the leading challenge was that the industry was facing an investment impasse and that 2018 was a critical year for moving forward. This year, the industry appears to be at the tipping point, and we have heard from many speakers that there is focus on getting the next projects off the ground. The emphasis on investment spans a wide geography: we heard about investment plans as far afield as Mauritania; in Australia; from the Arctic to Qatar; and, of course, in North America, where there is a big investment push.

Ambiguity.

Despite optimism about gas demand, there was huge ambiguity about the way natural gas will play out in the energy transition.

Interconnectedness.

The gas discussion was not limited to gas day. Natural gas is interconnected with many different areas in so many ways and was a running topic throughout the week. We heard about gas with electric vehicles, as a partner to renewables, in its linkage with oil production in the United States, and in its relationship with refined products in bunker fuels—touch points all over the energy complex.

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