H.E. Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, Qatar’s Minister of State for Energy Affairs and President of QatarEnergy has said that natural gas is not a transition fuel as popularly claimed, but a destination fuel.
He said this on Saturday, January 14, during the ongoing Global Energy Forum, holding in Abu Dhabi.
According to Al-Kaabi, the world needs more gas investments. He noted that natural gas is a destination fuel until the world has a realistic solution that can do away with the commodity. He maintained that the world will need gas for a very long time.
Supporting insights from OPEC: In its October 31, 2022, World Oil Outlook report, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) projected that natural gas is set to become the second-largest fuel in the global energy mix by 2030.
The report further highlighted that gas demand is projected to increase by 19.6 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (mboe/d) to 56.3 mboe/d in 2045, supported by demand in all sectors.
According to the report, natural gas is also expected to replace coal and traditional biomass use in coming years and remain a long-term fuel of choice, supported by sufficient gas resources and low CO2 emissions.
Why Africa needs fossil fuels: While speaking on the importance of gas, Al-kaabi said African countries need to explore fossil fuels so as to close energy access gaps. He said:
“One billion people today are deprived of basic electricity that we all enjoy. So, we need to be fair. I think one point I would like to just add to that on the investment side; it’s very, very, very unfair of some in the West to say that African countries should not invest in oil and gas and they should, you know, remain green or whatever you want to call it while this is a God-given wealth that they can create for their national growth and for their prosperity. It is oil and gas that is needed for the world. And we should not forget the oil and the petrochemicals and what you need there.”
Reason for gas as a destination fuel: According to Al-Kaabi, gas remains an important resource because some countries may not be able to afford nuclear energy. He explained that as countries develop renewable energy technologies, nuclear and natural gas will be needed as base load, to support renewables when the sun doesn’t shine and when the wind stops blowing. He also highlighted the fact that countries need to improve in energy storage technologies as well.
For the record: The OPEC report earlier cited states that OPEC member countries like Nigeria will lead gas demand growth and natural gas will also play an important role in the expansion of access to modern energy in Africa, thus reducing the traditional use of biomass for cooking and heating.