The Singapore International Energy Week (SIEW) was held earlier this month and brought together key players throughout the energy value chain. While I focused on the main forum and Gas Asia Summit (GAS), there were programmes and exhibition halls dedicated to the renewable and downstream sectors as well.
First, I want to comment on the CABC Canada Spotlight. I had the privilege to moderate the panel, which included Mary Hemmingsen (NW Innovation Works), Randy Quinn (CIBC), and two gentlemen who are literally on the front lines of progressing Canada’s LNG export capabilities, Ratnesh Bedi (Pacific Oil & Gas) and Nigel Kuzemko (Steelhead LNG).
The message from the panel was clear – Canada is open for business and is set to become a key player in the LNG market. As supply competition increases, the Canadian projects will have a distinct competitive advantage, specifically in terms of location, cost and product diversification, such as natural gas derivatives. The FID for Canada LNG sets the stage for a new era for the Canadian resource sector, one where I hope we see our exports of natural gas and crude oil steadily increase.
The week has highlighted by great speakers, such as Faith Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency and Martin Houston, Vice Chairman of Tellurian, in addition to networking opportunities with the ASEAN energy community.
Below I have highlighted some key takeaways from the event:
- Global Competition: The global LNG industry is alive and well, creating healthy competition between LNG suppliers. For Canada this simply means there should be an urgency to get projects online and as cost competitive as possible. Competition is only going to increase as greenfield projects move towards FID or come online, most notably in the USA and Mozambique, and production from incumbents Australia and Qatar grows in the foreseeable future.
- Singapore Electricity Generation: Much of the ASEAN energy growth will come from electricity generation. The natural gas industry is hoping many countries follow Singapore’s lead where 96% of electricity is generated from the commodity.
- ASEAN Energy Security: Collectively the region is set to become a net energy importer by 2040 (2025 if you exclude coal), which puts increasing pressure on governments to ensure energy security. The demand for oil, natural gas, and coal are set to steadily increase while domestic production has plateaued or is already declining in the case of oil.
- Air Conditioners: In his keynote address, Faith Birol stated ‘Air Conditioners represent the largest source of electricity demand growth in ASEAN; Today 15% of ASEAN households have air conditioners, compared to 90% in Japan and the US, signaling significant scope for growth.’ To fill this gap, the IEA estimates that 10 new air conditioners will be sold every second for the next 30 years… chilling.
- Renewables: Continue to wedge their way into the global energy landscape as the cost becomes more competitive, most notably solar. One renewable – Bioenergy, one that I feel is often overlooked in Canada, holds a larger share of the market than I originally thought. Contributing 50% (compared to wind at 9%) of the total final energy consumption from renewables in 2017 (IEA).
- Carbon Price: In Canada we state our imposed price on carbon will help us be competitive and sustainable as the consumer demands environmental performance, however the tone at SIEW was quick different. The consensus was that a carbon price makes a country less competitive and unfortunately there is no ‘one size fits all’ global carbon price and each country will require a unique solution. Advances in carbon capture technology may change the way the industry addresses environmental performance and coal is set to benefit the most.
The takeaways from energy week reinforce the opportunity for Canada and ASEAN to collaborate, especially as ASEAN shifts to a net importer of energy. As for the Canadian energy industry, the window is open for greenfield LNG projects, but it is closing quickly as many other nations are actively filling the supply/demand gap. Similar to the oil industry, being the lowest cost supplier is critical, especially as the LNG market trends to a spot price model.
Matt Klukas is the CABC’s Energy Advisor and works for the Criterium Group, a management consulting and merchant capital firm focused on delivering creative, custom strategies and capital solutions across multiple industries. Matt is a registered Professional Geophysicist in the province of Alberta and received his MBA from the University of Calgary.