30 May 2007 - 14:18
  • News Code: 105967

Producers of liquefied natural gas should respond to rising, Asian-led demand by adopting a more transparent approach to pricing, according to Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) energy ministers meeting in Darwin on Tuesday.

With APEC members such as China struggling to meet their energy needs, the list of LNG producers and buyers has grown in recent years.

 

Countries such as Australia and Qatar have strengthened their positions as leading gas exporters, but LNG remains a contract-based market involving bilateral deals rather than being underpinned by a world spot market.

 

Ian Macfarlane, the Australian industry minister, said: “There is not a shadow of a doubt that [prices] have been going up considerably and we need our LNG customers to understand how these prices are set.’’

 

The APEC energy forum also called for higher investments in oil refinery capacity and more advanced contingency plans to counter the growing reliance of APEC nations on imported oil, which is set to rise from 36 per cent in 2002 to 52 per cent in 2030.

 

However, the ministers omitted from their final statement a reference in the draft to concerns about how state-owned oil and gas companies could disrupt the market.

 

Underlining concerns over nuclear safety, Singapore called on neighbouring nations embarking on nuclear energy programmes to engage in more cross-border consultation.

 

Indonesia is planning to open its first nuclear power plant by 2017, while Vietnam hopes to start constructing a plant between 2015 and 2017 and Australia has recently reopened a debate on nuclear power and increasing uranium exports.

 

The meeting also poured cold water on the idea of creating a regional emissions trading scheme.

 

PIN/FT

News Code 105967

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