IEFS Set To Join Oil Data Collection Project

RIYADH, 20 April 2004 — The International Energy Forum Secretariat (IEFS) is set to join an international oil data collection project called the “Joint Oil Data Initiative” (JODI). The aim of the project is to add accuracy to oil data gathered with the help of a standardized process in cooperation with many regional and international energy bodies. IEFS was established on the initiative of Crown Prince Abdullah, deputy premier and commander of the National Guard.

Ambassador Arne Walther, IEFS chief, said the secretariat is currently discussing future coordination with the other organizations involved in the JODI project. These organizations include the UN, OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries), the International Energy Agency (IEA), Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the European Union statistical office and a Latin American energy organization.

The IEFS is a biennial forum at the level of energy ministers and provides the framework for informal dialogue between oil and gas producing and consuming countries on issues across the whole energy spectrum. Walther said that JODI project is a priority task assigned by the energy ministers. He underlined the importance of inter-regional dialogue between the EU and GCC on energy issues. A Eurogulf workshop was hosted earlier this month by the secretariat.

The IEFS chief said that Eurogulf is a research project on EU-GCC energy relations supported by the European Commission. The workshop was attended by Prince Abdulaziz Ibn Salman, deputy minister of petroleum and mineral resources, Bernard Savage, head of the EU Delegation in Saudi Arabia, and Dr. Majid Al-Moneef, chairman of the GCC Energy Team.

Walther said that energy taxation “is an important issue to be discussed by the oil producing and consuming countries as fossil fuels will remain for long time the primary source of energy.” He said, “Fossil fuels are expected to meet more than 90 percent of the projected increase in energy demand,” adding that demand for natural gas will double by 2030. “A whopping investment of $16 trillion is required for the energy supply infrastructure to satisfy the expected demand in 2030,” he said, quoting IEA figures.

For developing countries, where production and demand increase most rapidly, Walther said that they will need almost half of the projected $16 trillion. “This poses both an economic and political challenge,” he said. “The role of nuclear power will peak at the end of this decade and then decline gradually to five percent by 2030. It will decline in Europe and North America, but rise in some Asian countries,” Walther added. He further noted that some governments may use the nuclear option as a means to reduce CO2 emissions and to guarantee energy supplies.

“The establishment of an IEF Secretariat is a clear indication of a change in the international environment and the willingness to continue the dialogue on issues of mutual interest such as energy market stability, security of supply and demand besides environmental concerns,” said the IEFS chief.

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