UK Energy Minister on EU gas supply

10 February, 2012

Organised in close coordination with DECC, this meeting featured energy ministers, Charles Hendry MP and Norwegian Secretary of State Per Rune Henriksen.

EU and UK gas security of supply

23-25 January 2012 (WP1121)

Major gas producing companies, including Qatargas, Shell, and BP provided high level speakers to discuss gas security.

There was very strong emphasis on the substantial role that gas will continue to play in the UK’s and EU’s overall energy mix through to 2050, and that gas may well be important not just as a transition but also as a destination fuel. Large new sources of gas are being developed, and prices have fallen dramatically in the United States due to the exploitation of shale gas, with strong concerns voiced over the implications of this for the competitiveness of energy intensive industries in Europe.

From being regarded as an option of last resort, gas is being viewed increasingly as a fuel of choice. In order for gas to be a destination fuel to 2050 while achieving deep reductions in carbon emissions, it will be critical to commercialise carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology. Important challenges still confront this objective.

Discussions also saw much back and forth dialogue between gas producing and consuming countries over the balance between security of supply versus security of demand.  The conference deliberations are providing substantial input (in adherence to the Wilton Park Protocol) to a major new book entitled “A New Architecture for EU Gas Security of Supply”, to be published this spring by Claeys & Casteels.

The next event in the Wilton Park Climate Change and Energy programme will focus on global nuclear energy, a report on our UK-EU gas security conference will be published shortly.

Further information

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