Majid Jafar shares his insights on the future of energy at the first Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum

Natural gas is set to emerge as the world’s second most important source of energy over the next decade, according to the CEO of the Middle East’s oldest private oil & gas company.“The global gas market is expected to grow over the next 15 years to overtake coal as the world’s second energy source after oil, and the Middle East region with its 43% share of the global proven reserves (80 trillion cubic meters) will be a major contributor to this growth,” said Majid Jafar, CEO of Crescent Petroleum and Board Managing Director of Dana Gas, speaking at the first Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum in Abu Dhabi.

“Cost effectiveness of natural gas and its unparalleled chain value in comparison with other alternative fuels are major factors that will positively influence the natural gas market scenario in the Middle East, and encourage gas producers to invest more in exploring and developing further resources in the region”, he added.

The panel session entitled “Globalization of Gas Markets” featured opening remarks by Algerian Energy Minister Noor Al Deen Bouterfa, covered a wide range of topics including the role of gas in the energy transition, global gas demand trajectories and uncertainties and impact of climate and technological challenges: methane emissions, flaring, gas and carbon capture and storage (CCS):

“Natural gas produces nearly half as much carbon dioxide per unit of energy compared with coal; so it is the best fuel in terms of affordability, security of supply and cleanliness as we transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Moreover, more major gas discoveries are taking place worldwide, which will add more supply security for long term demands” Jafar added. He also highlighted the impact of the recent OPEC deal, in which the Middle East shouldered the responsibility for majority of oil production cuts.

Other speakers on the panel included Dr. Paula Gant, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of International Affairs, US Department of Energy; Anatol Feygin, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Cheniere Energy; Mussabah Al-Kaabi, CEO, Mubadala Petroleum; and Anne-Sophie Corbeau, Research Fellow II, King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center, and Nabil Habayeb is President & CEO of GE’s Middle East

The first Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum, a two-day initiative held in partnership with the Energy Ministry of the United Arab Emirates, will address disruptive trends in energy systems and technologies, and examine oil, gas, nuclear, and renewable energy market developments in the context of major political and security challenges.

The flagship initiative kicks off the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, setting the 2017 energy agenda that will strengthen energy markets, encourage breakthrough technologies and foster climate action.