Press Releases

    ENV/DEV/709
    21 November 2002

    ENERGY SECURITY CRUCIAL FOR STABILITY OF FINANCIAL
    MARKETS -- SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

    OPEC, European Union, Russia, United States Review Security
    Of Energy Supplies at Roundtable of UNECE Committee on Sustainable Energy

    (Reissued as received.)

    GENEVA, 20 November (Economic Commission for Europe) -- Rising tensions in the Middle East, new attacks on oil tankers, terrorist operations in major oil producers could have profound effects on global energy markets. The implications of these developments on energy security and sustainable development have been reviewed today by key experts in Geneva at a roundtable organized by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).

    "There is enough oil and gas for the foreseeable future for rich countries and for poor countries with rising energy demands. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has increased oil production in the past when it was needed during international crises. Forecasters agree that oil and gas will make up 60 per cent of world energy consumption in 2020. We need increased dialogue between governments and producers to ensure the development of stable markets in the years ahead," said Alvaro Silva-Calderon, Secretary General of OPEC.

    Robert C. McFarlane, former National Security Adviser to President Ronald Reagan, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Energy and Communication Solutions, New York, offered solutions to provide for greater energy security through developing alternative energy technologies such as fuel cells; reducing consumption through higher fuel efficiency standards; and bringing on-line additional sources of production from Russia and the Caspian Sea. In the international context, he mentioned that "the overthrow or collapse of the Saudi regime would have a profoundly disruptive effect on global energy markets involving immediate price spikes, short-term chaos in global capital markets and sustained political and economic instability. This instability would worsen as United States military intervention is launched to restore order."

    "The European Commission Green Paper on Energy Security showed that energy security is closely linked to sustainable energy development. Increasing the energy efficiency of European Union countries will also reduce environmental pollution and help fulfil European Union commitments under the Kyoto Protocol," said Cristobal Burgos Alonso, Head of Security of Energy Supply, European Commission. He outlined the extensive European Commission programmes for energy security, the development of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency.

    "Russian oil reserves and the new capacities in partnership with the West can provide an alternative to OPEC nations in supplying the United States and Western Europe with energy. Provided everything goes well and the various projects are realized and with the price of oil being not lower than $20 and situation in the world being favourable, Russia will be able to build up its exports to the United States to the level of 1 million barrels a day," said Torgul Bagirov, Executive Vice President, Moscow International Petroleum Club, Moscow, on behalf of Russian oil companies, including Lukoil.

    "The oil market will continue to be influenced by new sources of supply in the decade ahead. The role of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), specifically Russia and Kazakhstan, will be crucial in this. The CIS hold some 35 per cent of non-OPEC oil reserves, with the Caspian area having significant potential. The countries of the CIS look set to see continued significant growth in oil production. However, the key challenge will be to ensure sufficient investment to bring that energy to consumers," said Ged Davis, Vice-President, Global Business Environment, Shell International Limited.

    The panellists for the Round Table were: Alvaro Silva-Calderon, Secretary General, OPEC, Vienna; Robert C. McFarlane, former National Security Adviser to President Ronald Reagan, Chairman and CEO, Energy and Communication Solutions, New York; Cristobal Burgos Alonso, Head of Security of Energy Supply, European Commission, Brussels; Sergei Balashov, First Deputy to a Board Member, Gazprom, Moscow; Torgul Bagirov, Executive Vice President, Moscow International Petroleum Club, Moscow, on behalf of Russian oil companies including Lukoil; Ged Davis, Vice-President, Global Business Environment, Shell International Limited, London; Benjamin Zycher, Senior Economist, RAND Corp, Santa Monica, California; and Helmut Warsch, Director, Framatom ANP, Erlangen.

    For more information please contact: Mr. Frederic Romig, Division for Sustainable Energy, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), Palais des Nations CH - 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland, Telephone: +41(0)22 917 24 10, 917 24 07, Telefax: +41(0)22 917 02 27, 917 00 38, E-mail: frederic.romig@unece.org.

    Mr. Sead Vilogorac, Division for Sustainable Energy, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), Palais des Nations CH - 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland Telephone: +41(0)22 917 24 62, Telefax: +41(0)22 917 00 38, E-mail: sead.vilogorac@unece.org. Web site: http://www.unece.org/energy/nrghome.html.

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