(EnergyAsia, June 24 2011, Friday) — The following is an edited version of the speech by Singapore’s EMA chief Chee Hong Tat in introducing Fatih Birol, chief economist of the International Energy Agency (IEA) who spoke on “A Glimpse into the Energy Future”. Dr Fatih spoke to an audience of around 350 energy professionals in Singapore on Tuesday.
“This is a timely topic given recent developments such as rising oil prices, discovery of unconventional gas sources and the Fukushima nuclear incident in March 2011.

“The IEA’s special report on “Are We Entering a Golden Age of Gas?” presents a scenario in which natural gas plays a more prominent role in meeting the world’s energy needs. Under this scenario, demand for gas is expected to grow by more than 50% and its share of the global energy mix increases from 21% to 25% in 2035. At the same time, there is a corresponding increase in gas supply fuelled by the growth of unconventional gas, and the expansion of LNG trade.

“Singapore is well positioned to capitalise on this development with our first LNG terminal. The terminal, which is located at Jurong Island, will have three LNG tanks and will be able to handle up to six million tonnes/year of throughput. There are plans to expand on this capacity in future. We have also designed the terminal to have some additional storage capacity, which will allow Singapore to meet our future gas needs and open up new business opportunities in the LNG market.

“I am happy to update that the overall LNG Terminal progress is approaching 50% completion and is on track for commercial operations by the second quarter of 2013.

“There has also been a strong uptake of LNG by companies in Singapore.

As of end-May this year, LNG aggregator BG has sold about 2.3 million t/y of LNG, mostly to power generation companies. There is also interest from industrial companies outside the power generation sector to purchase LNG to fuel their new businesses and project expansions.

“Studies are being conducted by industry on how to tap on the “cold energy” of LNG for the cooling of industrial processes. Besides exploring new business opportunities brought about by the LNG terminal, EMA is also keeping a close watch on other emerging energy technologies and solutions which could contribute to Singapore’s energy sector.

“Dr Birol is responsible for the IEA’s economic analysis of energy and climate change. He also oversees the annual World Energy Outlook – the IEA’s flagship publication.

Besides his many years of experience at the IEA, Dr Birol also spent six years at the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in Vienna.”