Tue, 20 Apr 2021

HOUSTON, March 2 (Xinhua) -- Industrial leaders expressed optimism in increasing global gas demand on Tuesday during a virtual energy conference.

During a discussion focusing on natural gas at the 39th CERAWeek, executives from world leading companies said natural gas will be needed for a long period of time especially in Asian countries.

According to Darren W. Woods, chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil Corporation, non-OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries, with 85 percent of global population, consume only one third of the energy that OECD countries consume.

"As that economy grows, as people's lives get better, you're going to see increased consumption of energy. And obviously, gas is going to play a key role in that," he said.

"I think gas will be in higher demand than we thought just a few years back," said Qatar Minister of State For Energy Affairs Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi. "Gas is needed and needed for a longer period of time especially in Asia."

The industrial leaders believe there is a rosy picture going forward for gas and with energy transition taking place, gas is positioned very well for the future.

Taking an example of the severe winter storm in the U.S. state of Texas a few days ago, Woods said that lost gas supply that was feeding power generation stations partially caused the massive blackout that left millions of people in freezing temperatures and darkness for days.

"It just illustrates the criticality of these utility systems and power generation and the criticality that maintaining a secure source of supply," he added.

Organized by IHS Markit, a global financial information and services company, this year's CERAWeek kicked off on Monday with the theme "The New Map: Energy, Environment, and Charting the Future."

Held all-virtually for the first time due to the pandemic, the 39th CERAWeek includes over 500 speakers, along with over 10,000 participants from more than 85 countries and regions.

During the five-day sessions, senior policymakers, energy executives, financial leaders and technologists will reflect on the changes that have occurred in the past year and discuss how they will reshape future energy industry strategy and structure, and the investment choices ahead.

Last year's CERAWeek was canceled due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

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