Coveted position: Sultanate and Egypt make joint bid for chair of world’s top gas body
Conrad Prabhu –
MUSCAT, MARCH 31 –
The Sultanate has announced its maiden bid for the presidency of the International Gas Union (IGU) — a much coveted position it is competing for jointly with Egypt.
Success in its candidacy will not only place Oman at the helm of the world’s preeminent organisation representing 97 per cent of the global gas industry, but equally, it will grant the Sultanate the right to host the triennial World Gas Conference in 2024, arguably the definitive fórum of the global gas industry.
The groundbreaking announcement came on the concluding day of the executive committee meetings of the International Gas Union which wrapped up at Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa on Thursday.
Addressing the gathering, David Carroll, current President of the IGU, said: “We have announced three confirmed candidates for the presidency of this organisation who will serve from 2021 to 2024: China, Canada, and for the first time a joint bid involving a presidential combination of Egypt and Oman. We congratulate you in Oman for standing for this very important position. But also for the first time this organisation has seen a joint country bid — two countries working together to lead and serve this very important organisation,” added Carroll.
The Under-Secretary of Oman’s Ministry of Oil and Gas, Salim bin Nasser al Aufi, who was the Chief Guest at the event, stated: “I’m very pleased to hear that we are competing together with Egypt for the presidency from 2021-24. We will definitely make sure we compete to win. I know China and Canada are big, but we will go for it. It is not a small undertaking, but together with Egypt we will be sizable enough to go for it.”
It marks the first time that relatively small producers are making a bid for the prestigious post. The current presidency is held by the United States, the world’s top producer and consumer alike of natural gas. Its three-year presidency ends in 2018 when the United States hosts the next World Gas Conference in Washington DC in June that year. Next in line to take the reins of the IGU is South Korea, one of the world’s top consumers of liquified natural gas (LNG). Korea’s term runs from 2018 to 2021.
Founded in 1931, the International Gas Union (IGU) is a worldwide non-profit organisation aimed at promoting the political, technical and economic progress of the gas industry. The Union, which is currently headquartered in Barcelona, Spain, has more than 150 members worldwide on all continents, representing approximately 97 per cent of the world gas market. Members are national associations and corporations within the gas industry worldwide. The IGU’s working organisation covers all aspects of the gas industry from exploration and production, storage, LNG, distribution and natural gas utilisation in all market segments.
A key bonus that comes with chairing the IGU is the privilege of hosting the World Gas Conference (WGC), the most high-profile industry-related gathering that typically attracts 15,000 influential leaders, buyers and sellers, policymakers and experts from around the world. A possible presidency for the joint Oman-Egypt bid will position the Sultanate as an international heavyweight among gas producing nations of the world.
Oman LNG, the Sultanate’s liquified natural gas production flagship, hosted the Executive Committee Meetings of the IGU last week with the attendance of over 120 senior level executives and gas experts from around the world.