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IGU: gas the key to growing energy, climate needs

The global gas industry is meeting in Buenos Aires to discuss its strategy to deal with climate change and expectations for rising consumption

Argentina's presidency of the International Gas Union (IGU) reaches a climax this week in Buenos Aires, as executives from the global energy sector meet to discuss the gas industry's strategy in the face of persistent worries about climate change and expectations for rising consumption.

The list of high-level speakers scheduled to address the World Gas Conference (WGC) this week includes energy ministers from Algeria, Argentina and the UK, as well as the bosses of BP, Repsol, Total, Qatargas, Gazprom and National Iranian Gas Company.

A series of new reports, prepared under Argentina's presidency of the IGU, will also be published, covering 11 segments of the global gas industry, from LNG to storage.

Opening the conference last night, IGU president Ernesto López Anadón said the WGC would promote enhanced dialogue between policymakers and industry leaders, to enable a better understanding of the problems that all segments of the gas industry face and of the effect that these have on society.

Gas has a vital enabling role as part of the solution to growing energy demand and environmental challenges, Roberto Brandt, head of the IGU's co-ordination committee, said yesterday. Gas trade will continue to expand, especially in the LNG segment.

Brandt added that Buenos Aires is an appropriate host city for the conference. Argentina has a long-standing tradition of using natural gas, with an industry that has been developed since the 1940s and today supplies 52% of the country's energy needs. It is, therefore, a natural home for the WGC as it gathers to discuss issues facing the global gas sector.

This week's WGC, which has met under the IGU's auspices every three years since 1931, is in South America for the first time. The presidency of the IGU will pass from Argentina to Malaysia after the conference.

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