Natural gas exporters: market to be tight until 2025

CAIRO (AP) — The leader of the coalition of gas-exporting countries said Tuesday the group expects demand for the fuel to far outstrip supply until 2025 amid a global energy crisis sparked by the war in Ukraine.

Secretary General of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum Mohamed Hamel, of Algeria, said at the group’s meeting in Cairo that although investment was increasing in natural gas production the countries didn’t expect to have new sources of supply online for another three years.

“We believe that this market tightness will continue to be with us until probably 2025 or 2026 when the new projects that are being developed will come on-stream,” he said in a press conference Tuesday attended by energy ministers from some of the coalition’s members.

Natural gas prices have skyrocketed worldwide following the Russian invasion of Ukraine early this year. Amid sanctions imposed on Russia’s energy sector, much of European Union, which formerly depended on Russia for 40% of its supply, has struggled find alternatives.

Russia has reduced or cut off natural gas supplies to 13 EU member nations as European governments bolster their support for Ukraine in the form of weapons, money, aid and economic sanctions on Moscow. The potential for shortages has led to surging gas and electricity prices that could climb higher as demand peaks during the cold months.

Russia’s Minister of Energy Nikolai Shulginov attended the Cairo meeting but did not make any public statements.

Egypt’s minister of petroleum and mineral resources Tarek el-Molla, meanwhile, said the country was endeavoring to increase its capacity to export liquefied natural gas amid the current worldwide need. Earlier this year, Egypt and the EU announced a deal that would see the North African country liquefy natural gas extracted by Israel.

The Qatar-based coalition’s meeting comes just weeks after an OPEC decision to cut production drew criticism from world leaders.

Energy ministers cut production by a larger-than-expected 2 million barrels per day starting in November after an early October gathering for their first face-to-face meeting at the Vienna headquarters of the OPEC oil cartel since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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