SHARJAH: Natural gas will play a leading role as a part of national energy strategies as governments look to reduce their carbon footprints and recover from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Majid Jafar, CEO of Crescent Petroleum and Managing Director of the Board of Dana Gas, the region’s oldest privately owned upstream oil and gas company, told an audience of business leaders and policymakers at the Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum.
As countries commit to more ambitious decarbonisation goals while seeking to boost economic activity in the wake of the pandemic, natural gas offers a reliable and lower carbon solution for developing countries with growing energy needs as they move away from coal and seek to complement renewable energy, Jafar said in his virtual address.
"As economies around the world look to emerge from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, cleaner burning natural gas will offer the multiple benefits of affordability, reliability and lower carbon footprint, while serving as a critical counterpart to intermittent renewable energy, while also enabling tomorrow’s hydrogen economy. Countries looking to boost infrastructural spending in the wake of the pandemic must consider a future energy strategy with natural gas as an important part of the mix, particularly in the developing world where coal is the main energy source but also the single biggest source of CO2 emissions, as well as particulates and nitrous oxides." The oil and gas industry will also need to make improvements of its own, he notes, such as redoubling efforts to prevent methane leaks in their operations, minimising gas flaring, and to adopt new technologies such as carbon capture and storage and methane emissions abatement to ensure reliable and cleaner gas supply.
Jafar spoke at the online panel, "Net Zero and the Future of Natural Gas" during the 5th Annual Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum, which is being held virtually between Jan 19-21.
Jafar noted, "Nations that have already switched away from coal to gas have been able to show a considerable drop in emissions, reducing CO2 emissions by upwards of 15-20 per cent in the transition. And the UAE’s wise Energy Strategy for 2050 has an almost equal balance between natural gas and renewable energy, with each planned to provide approximately 40% of total energy needs each, and the recent announcement of the Abu Dhabi Hydrogen Aliance is another important initiative in this field."
Crescent Petroleum has been a leader in delivering clean natural gas for power generation in the region, with natural gas now accounting for more than 85 per cent of its total production. As companies and countries look to transition from high carbon emitting fuels like coal and diesel to lower emitting natural gas, Crescent has worked to cut its carbon intensity per barrel equivalent to less than one third of the industry average, with plans to reduce it even further. Moreover, the company has brought its overall flaring down to 0.7 percent of production, with aspirations to bring that figure down towards zero in coming years.
© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2021.