November, 30 2013 09:37:36

Regional forum discusses rising energy demand

An oil-rig of Vietsovpetro at Bach Ho Oilfield in southern Ba Ria - Vung Tau Province. Experts suggested that ASEAN member countries work together to form a strong group to ensure energy security. — VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hung

HCM CITY (VNS)— Delegates and experts attending a leading oil and gas event of Southeast Asia yesterday called for closer cooperation to cope with opportunities and challenges concerning the rising energy demand in the region.

The members of ASEAN comprise the world's 5th largest economy, the third largest population and the 4th largest oil importer, all due to rapid economic development in recent years.

Nguyen Quoc Thap, vice president of PetroVietnam, who is also chairman of the Viet Nam ASEAN Council on Petroleum Conference and Exhibition's National Committee, said that the ASEAN Economic community would be a reality by 2015.

"The connectivity between our nations are being strengthened, resources are being shared, markets are being unified, creating challenges as the business environment becomes more and more competitive," he said.

"We see the energy picture of the ASEAN countries as changing and posing challenges for the members of ASEAN council on petroleum. As the economy develops, the energy demand is rising at a high speed," Thap said.

Thap said that Indonesia and Viet Nam, which had been traditionally energy exporters, now are becoming importers of energy.

Malaysia also needs more Liquified Natural Gas for domestic consumption.

"Because of conventional resource constraints, for the energy security of ASEAN countries, we have to move to unconventional oil and gas substitutes: deep water exploration, shale gas, coalbed methane and others, and go for the international investment market," Thap said.

Pham Nhu Khanh, vice-president of PetroVietnam Exploration and Production Corporation, in his presentation, said that demand for oil and gas rose day by day from country to country, region to region.

By 2030, in Asia, China and India will have almost double the demand compared to what they use now. Other countries in the Americas will also have more demand.

Mehmet Ogutcu, chairman of Global Resources Corporation in the UK, suggested that ASEAN member countries work together to form a strong group.

Energy demand is growing strongly in Asia, and by 2030, demand will go up to 70 per cent, he added.

Mehmet noted that ASEAN is expected to be the fourth largest oil importer in the world.

This requires a sustainability-driven business model, and closer cooperation to cope with opportunities in the region as well as in the world.

He encouraged more innovation in technologies for efficient exploitation of current conventional resources and exploration of unconventional resources both in the region and in the international market.

Also, cooperation among ASEAN countries and with international players must be enhanced by sharing technological capabilities, experience and high-quality human resources. — VNS

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