Asia energy imports to surge; monetizing resources a challenge

10 June 2013 07:06  [Source: ICIS news]

KUALA LUMPUR (ICIS)--Asia will have to rely more on imports for its ever-growing energy requirements given a projected economic growth of 7.6% over the next five years, PETRONAS CEO Shamsul Azhar Abbas said on Monday.

Importing energy will be a challenge for the region, underscoring the need to ensure energy security, Shamsul said in his state of the industry address at the 17th Asia Oil and Gas Conference in Kuala Lumpur.

In 2012, the region's energy consumption was 1.2 times that of North America; 1.5 times that of Europe and 8.5 times that of Africa, the PETRONAS chief said.

China is expected to overtake the US as the world's biggest economy as early was 2016, with its energy consumption expected to double the US' requirement by 2035, Shamsul said.

Asia currently imports more than half of its oil and gas consumption, with non-members of Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) relying on imports for 80% of its requirements, he said.

The good news is that supply is not running out, with the shale gas revolution in North America and unconventional reserves being proven elsewhere, Shamsul said.

China and Indonesia are believed to have bigger unconventional energy reserves, he said.

“The challenge is not on supply but more on monetizing these resources. It gets increasingly tougher to monetize with higher cost involved,” he said, adding that the remaining hydrocarbon resources are “more challenging technically and more complex geologically”.

The conference runs from 9-11 June.

By: Pearl Bantillo
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