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Birol fires stark gas warning amid coal's competitiveness

IEA chief economist claims rising coal use presents 'very real threat' to fuel's golden age

The golden age of gas predicted by the International Energy Agency (IEA) two years ago is under threat, particularly from coal's rising competitiveness, warned the energy watchdog's chief economist. Fatih Birol offered words of caution to the annual gathering of the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association this week. "Not all roads lead to a golden age of gas. There are a number of question marks for gas producers," he told the conference. The IEA still expects strong growth in gas, but said there will be harsh competition between gas and coal globally. Birol stressed the relative economics of gas versus coal use will remain an important determinant of future natural ga

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