From 2 to 5 of October, the 8th St. Petersburg International Gas Forum took place in St. Petersburg. This year, the Forum reached a record high with 16,500 visitors, including 5,000 delegates from 51 countries. At the exhibition, 505 companies from 19 countries presented their solutions for the gas industry.
In the welcoming speech at the Plenary Session THE ROLE AND SIGNIFICANCE OF NATURAL GAS IN THE ENERGY BALANCE OF THE WORLD ECONOMY, Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Management Committee of Gazprom, remarked that St. Petersburg became the headquarter of Gazprom, the leading energy company across the globe, and that the venue of St. Petersburg International Gas Forum keeps expanding. Alexey Miller also touched on the subject of gas market prospects up to 2025, “According to forecasts, global demand for gas will steadily grow, and there are no threats from other energy resources in this regard. Gazprom predicts an increase in demand of 17% by 2025, and the major share of this global demand (about 30%) will be China’s.”
Rainer Seele, Chairman of the Executive Board, CEO, OMV, presented a review on the European gas market during the plenary session, “gas production in Europe is being reduced, so the import will increase, and the gas demand will remain.”
Keith Martin, Chief Commercial Officer of Uniper, remarked that prices for fossil fuels increased twice or even thrice, but gas still had a special place, “Thanks to the new technologies, today gas can be supplied to new countries, and we see an incredible increase in its consumption. However, LNG is considered to be a premium-class product yet.”
Weizhong Qin, Vice President of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), mentioned that Chinese economy needs to rely on high-quality energy. In the last years, the share of natural gas in the Celestial Empire has increased from 3 to 7%.
Ulf Heitmüller, Chairman of the Executive Board at Verbundnetz Gas, spoke about the prospects of natural gas use. The expert believes that gas demand increase is to be expected in Europe, “Natural gas is the key to sustainable future in Germany, but it has potential in other spheres, too.”
Joe M. Kang, President of International Gas Union, shared some investigation results: the share of natural gas in Asia keeps growing, especially in the marine LNG bunkering space. At the same time, he believes that three main things here are cost of gas, security and stability of its supplies.
Summing up, moderator Kevin Owen, Russia Today, mentioned that the role of gas in the global energy mix is going to increase. We need to take into account China as a major gas importer, and to proceed with development of Russian gas export to Europe, to tell consumers about the value and sustainability of gas, to keep prices down, as well as to ensure stable and secure supplies. Russia has the key part in these processes.
During the 7th International Congress of Oil and Gas Industry Professionals over 90 business events took place: plenary sessions, conferences, round table discussions, closed meetings, technical tours. Participants focused on matters of energy security, NGV fuel, petroleum and gas chemistry, import substitution in the oil & gas sector, gas distribution, gas consumption, and other urgent issues.
For the first time ever the program of the Forum included the International Conference on Northeast Asian Natural Gas and Pipeline Forum, and brought together over 100 participants, including from Korea, Japan, China, Mongolia, and Vietnam. Subjects of discussions reflected the actual trends of gas markets in Northeast Asian countries, including the project of building a united gas-transportation system, gas deficit in Japan, and its country’s aspiration to become a regional gas hub.
A series of events was dedicated to the Russian NGV fuel industry development and to using LNG as fuel. By 2020, major Russian cities are obliged to switch half the public and municipal transport to gas. This approach will facilitate significant improvement in the ecologic situation and considerably cut costs. For the reform to come to life, the state is ready to promote this process, following the practices that their more experienced fellow-states have already used. “NGV fuel is being dynamically introduced in many countries. China has switched 6 mln vehicles to NGV fuel. In Italy, 1.2 mln vehicles use gas, although this is the country that doesn’t have its own gas at all,” explained Viktor Zubkov, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Gazprom, Russia’s Special Presidential Representative for Cooperation with the Gas Exporting Countries Forum.
One of the central themes during the Forum was import substitution. During the round table discussion Import Substitution and Prospects of Export of Russian Oil and Gas Technologies, the experts spoke about the state export policy and the Russian’s industry potential in passing from import substitution to export of locally made goods. For 4 years, Russia has been on the program of import substitution, and thus, promoting local production. The key objective for the Government is to reduce import dependence from 60 to 43% by 2020.
Traditionally, the dialogue of generations in the energy and gas industry was resumed during the Youth Day, where leaders of top energy companies like Gazprom, Uniper, Shell, Wintershall Holding GmbH, and Schneider Electric Russia & CIS, met Russian and European students. The leaders shared their experience and told the young people about specifics of the industry. Top managers disclosed some of the business secrets they use today, and gave some forecasts of market development.
In 2018, the exposition of St. Petersburg International Gas Forum brought together the largest industrial exhibitions within 30 thousand m2: InGAS Stream – Innovations in the Gas Industry, Import Substitution in the Gas Industry, Gas Engine Fuel and ROS-GAS-EXPO. 510 companies from 18 countries presented over 330 samples of their equipment. One of the participants, Kirovsky Zavod Gas Technologies presented process equipment for NGV refueling compressor stations. Pipe manufacturers (TMK, CHELPIPE GROUP, United Metallurgical Company, Severstal) presented their output capacities. PSI company showcased its achievements in software localization in accordance with Russian requirements.
The Russian Export Center (REC) united in its exhibition zone 6 Russian companies that develop solutions for the oil and gas industry, including design, production, and maintenance of the oil and gas equipment, transportation-related engineering, and treatment of oil, gas and water. 21 companies presented their personal stands, supported by REC, including CHELPIPE GROUP, HMS GROUP, PKBA, SKATZ, Salavatneftemash, Kirovsky Zavod Gas Technologies, Intraline, RMZ RariTEK, Technical Center RariTEK, Prosoft-Systems, GSK Holding, RGM-NGS, Petroline-A, Constanta-2, Tehnoproekt, BVN Engineering, etc.
During the 3rd Corporate Exhibition Import Substitution in the Gas Industry, 49 Russian research and production companies presented 200 pilot samples of high-tech import substituting products. Most of these products are being successfully introduced into production processes, and their prototypes are currently being tested at Gazprom facilities.
St. Petersburg International Gas Forum has turned out to be an efficient business venue, as the participants of the Forum made some significant agreements there. For instance, Gazprom has agreed on strategic partnership with OMV, Shell, Roscosmos, UEC, TMK, and others. The agreement between Gazprom and Transneft will feature a new stage of NGV fuel development. Memorandums were also signed by NGVA, KANFV, RariTEK, REC, the Fund for Infrastructure and Educational Programs, the Association of Construction Organizations of the Gas Industry, and many more.
Traditionally, EXPOFORUM hosted the finish of the international NGV rally Gas into Motors 2018, which was the longest rally in the world, record-breaking enough to make it into Guinness World Records. In 30 days, the convoy crossed 3 state borders (China, Kazakhstan, and Russia) and drove through 19 regions, totally covering the distance of about 10 thousand km. The cars taking part in the rally confirmed that natural gas vehicles are reliable, cost-saving, and sustainable.
SPIGF 2018 was supported by Russia’s Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Government of St. Petersburg, as well as the Russian Export Center, the Russian Gas Society, and NGV Italy.
The general partner of SPIGF 2018 is Gazprom, the partner of the convention program is Energy Delta Institute. Partners: OMV, Uniper, Comita Group of Companies, Gazprombank JSC, Gazprom avtomatizatsiya, TMK, HMS Group, CHELPIPE GROUP, United Metallurgical Company (OMK), Surgut perevalka.