The Gas Forum sets global energy trends for the next decade

SPIGF 2021 results

SPIGF-2021 results.

This year, the St. Petersburg International Gas Forum (SPIGF) was attended by nearly 13 thousand participants from 27 countries. The convention program embraced 70+ events, and 470 companies presented their advanced projects for the gas industry at the exhibition. 100+ media covered the SPIGF proceedings.

SPIGF 2021 proved that the new format of business events featuring a mix of online and offline meeting can be highly efficient – it ensured powerful synergy and enabled a wider audience coverage during the pandemic.

In 4 days of the Forum, dozens of debates, meetings, presentations and round-table discussions took place, attended by chief executives of the top Russian and foreign companies, as well as state authorities’ officials.

The central event of the Forum was the plenary session Natural Gas: New Challenges and Solutions for the Global Energy Sector, where the participants talked about the gas supplies to Europe situation. Because of gas prices increasing, it remains complicated in the European Union countries, while the demand for Russian fuel keeps growing.

According to Elena Burmistrova, Deputy Chairman of the Management Committee at Gazprom, the European market is affected by gas deficiency caused by overall economy and energy consumption situation recovery. Another factor is European countries being forced to abandon coal-based power generation due to emission quotas increasing. “Another reason is loss of efficiency at wind and hydro energy facilities,” the speaker stated. 

All of these resulted in gas prices sky-rocketing in European markets. “Some time ago it would have seemed unimaginable, and yet here we are,” Elena Burmistrova remarked. 

According to Alfred Stern, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of OMV AG, gas prices reached their peak since about 1981. At the same time, demand growth causes tension on certain markets. 

The experts agreed that natural gas is of imminence significance in the energy sector.

According to Jean-Marie Dauger, Chairman of the World Energy Council, gas should be used as an intermediate fuel while switching to renewable energy sources. 

As explained by Joe M. Kang, President of the International Gas Union, natural gas will have a pivotal part in many countries implementing their decarbonization programs. With that, he believes that whatever energy sources are used, a balance is needed. 

Maarten Wetselaar, Integrated Gas, Renewables and Energy Solutions Director, Member of the Executive Committee at Royal Dutch Shell plc, specified that oil and gas are going to have critical role in the energy sector, and gas is expected to get more advantages. 

Klaus-Dieter Maubach, Chief Executive Officer at Uniper SE, agreed with Mr. Wetselaar on that one. He pointed out that Asian countries will be the ones admittedly needing gas for the longest term in the future.

Another important discussion took place during the plenary session Natural Gas as Engine Fuel for Sustainable Development of Russian Regions. The participants discussed the gas engine fuel market development and agreed that they expect this fuel type to be the most popular one in the transport sector till 2030.

According to Viktor Zubkov, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Gazprom, the transport industry barely has any future without gas. “From now and further on till 2030, there is no fuel better for vehicles than natural gas – methane and LNG,” the speaker emphasized. 

The delegates of the Closed session on the technological development of GAZPROM discussed import substitution of equipment required by the gas industry – thanks to it, the company can save a lot in hardware procurement. Vitaly Markelov, Deputy Chairman of the Management Committee at Gazprom, explained that thanks to import substitution of gas equipment Gazprom and its departments save about 16 billion Rubles. 

The exhibition and convention programs covered all the spheres of the oil and gas industry – from geological survey and gas recovery to transportation, consumption, and treatment, as well as some innovative import substitution initiatives as regards to the gas industry equipment. Sustainability issues were considered along with Artificial Intelligence use and Human Resources issues.

Over 30% of the events under the convention program were participated by international experts from Belgium, Switzerland, UAE, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Australia, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, USA, Norway, Canada, Netherlands, Germany, Jordan, France, and UK.

As usual, at the Youth Day representatives of the business elite met the best emerging specialists and students from top Russian and European universities during the off-tie meeting. This year, 40 students from 25 universities of 9 countries got short-listed. 

The exposition arranged in ExpoForum at the area of 40 thousand m2 was of special interest, as it covered literally every sector of the petroleum industry: the 8th International Specialised Exhibition InGAS Stream — Innovations in the Gas Industry, the 5th Specialised Exposition Import Substitution in the Gas Industry, the 7th International Specialised Exhibition Gas Engine Fuel, and the 24th International Specialised Exhibition of Natural Gas Industry and Technology for Gas Facility ROS-GAS-EXPO.

The list of participants included Gazprom, Uniper SE, Boskalis, Comita Group, Siemens Energy, HMS Group, OMK, Gazprom Bureniye, Kosmos-Neft-Gaz, Gazprom Mezhregiongaz, Severstal, United Industrial Complex, Salavat Catalyst Plant, PSI, Ural Automobile Plant, GAZ Group, and others.

Cutting-edge advanced technologies were presented by top manufacturers, including Almaz-Antey Air and Space Defence Corporation, Izmeron Factory, TMK, ESTM, REP Holding, Valcom, Kurgandormash, Linde Severstal, Motovilikha Plants etc.

At the Import Substitution in the Gas Industry exhibition, 60 companies presented 160+ samples of high-tech products. For instance, Izmeron Factory that managed to substitute imported underground equipment for high-pressure and corrosive environment wells presented their equipment systems for lower and upper oil and gas well completion of their own design. REP Holding demonstrated their 32 MW industrial gas-turbine single-frame unit T32-1, as well as a full-size prototype of a suitable rotor.

At an outside venue, the exhibition of natural gas vehicles was arranged, in particular showcasing the cars that had participated in the Blue Corridor – Gas into Engines 2021 Rally.

Constituent units of the Russian Federation took active part in SPIGF, too. Republics of Bashkortostan and Tatarstan, the Perm Land, the Chelyabinsk and Omsk Regions delivered collaborative stands of their industrial companies. Official delegations attending the Forum included representatives from the Moscow, Leningrad, Astrakhan, Belgorod, Bryansk, Volgograd, Vladimir, and Kursk Regions, as well as the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District, the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), the Republic of Kalmykia, and other regions. 

During SPIGF, constituent units of the Russian Federation made agreements with industrial companies and state authorities. In particular, such agreements were signed by the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation, the United Industrial Complex, Siemens, the Administration of the Nenets Autonomous District, the RUSKHIM Management company, TMK, Weatherford, RARITEK Holding, Avangard, RusGazBureniye, Uralmash NGO Holding and others.

This year, SPIGF was arranged in a hybrid format. Many speakers took part in the conferences online, the events were live-streamed, and the TV studio was operated. A live link-up with Kazakhstan took place during the Russia-Kazakhstan Collaboration international conference. 

The Anniversary St. Petersburg International Gas Forum became one of the largest convention and exhibition events in Russia in 2021. It is the most sound evidence of business proceedings in Russia finally getting back on track. 

“Hot discussions at the Forum, keen interest and response of the mass media – these were the best gifts for the event’s anniversary. In 10 years, this project worked its way up from a minor ROS-GAS-EXPO exhibition and a display telling about the first Russian gas lamp to something that can be worthily called the major industrial event in the Russian Federation. Well, it must be one of the most prestigious and large-scale dedicated events in the world!” this was how Sergey Voronkov, CEO for ExpoForum International, summarized the Gas Forum results.

The Forum was participated by the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation, as well as the Government of St. Petersburg.

Gazprom was the General Partner for SPIGF 2021, OMV AG – the General Global Partner, and TMK – its General Sponsor. The list of the Forum partners included Uniper SE, Comita Group, Boskalis, Gazprombank (Joint-Stock Company), HMS Group, Rossiya Bank, Almaz-Antey Air and Space Defence Corporation, Gazprom GNP Holding, OMK, PSI, Salavat Catalyst Plant, Kosmos-Neft-Gaz, United Industrial Complex International Consortium, Gazprom Bureniye, Zagorsk Pipe Plant, Nikkiso Industrial Rus, GazTehExpert, RUMO, Valcom, and Energo Komplekt-M.

The Official insurance partner – SOGAZ, the Official partner – Turkish Airlines.

Key convention program co-organisers included the Association of European Businesses (AEB), Australia Russia Dialogue (ARD), the Russian National Committee of World Petroleum Council, the Russian Gas Society, the National Oil and Gas Forum, Gazprom Mezhregiongaz, Gazprom Nedra, UEC Aviadvigatel, and the State Atomic Energy Corporation ROSATOM.

General information partners – Territoriya NEFTEGAS Journal and Gas Industry Journal.

The General industrial information partner –

The Official industrial information partner – OIL AND GAS SPHERE.

The Strategic information partner – Oil and Gas Exposition.

The General radio partner – Business FM St. Petersburg.



Petroleum industry’s part in sustainable goals development discussed at SPIGF

Energy transformation is not a way to be followed by everyone

Energy transformation is not a way to be followed by everyone.
The international conference OIL AND GAS SECTOR CONTRIBUTION TO THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS took place of Day 2 of the 10th St. Petersburg International Gas Forum.

The tone of the discussion was given by the Global Climate Forum scheduled for late October 2021 in Glasgow. It is going to cover Earth’s ecological issues, and naturally, SPIGF has been mainly dedicated to energy transformation that the industry is ready to set off to. 

According to Tor Fjaeran, President of the World Petroleum Council, today we should take climatic change as the major threat for humans. “We’ve done a lot but this is not a place to stop yet. There is so much to do for our carbon footprint to lower,” he said.

Didier Holleaux, Executive Vice President and Board Member at ENGIE, reminded the audience that Europe is looking forward to total decarbonization by 2050. Countries of the Old World are going to take on alternative energy sources like hydrogen, which can be produced almost anywhere in the European Union. “We're going through the global transformation and are indeed living in the energy transition age. This is a revolution on the short term that the humanity has never encountered before. Anyway, if we don’t manage it, we are going to be confronted with some much more grave challenges,” Mr. Holleaux remarked. He also predicted that gas is going to be of utter importance for the energy industry in the coming years.

Laszlo Varro, Vice President at Shell, agreed on that one and announced that energy transformation and natural gas are tightly associated. “Let’s consider Brazil that invests a lot into the afflux energy. You can’t procure extra afflux if you need more fuel, but you can acquire more gas to recover the energy shortage. The same can be said about Germany and its solar power plants,” Mr. Varro explained.

Sergey Vakulenko, Head of Strategy and Innovation Department at Gazprom Neft, stated he wasn’t sure that energy transformation would go as fast and efficiently as everybody expects it to be. “Top analytical agencies like McKinsey are considering a scenario according to which the world countries won’t reach an agreement and will follow their ways as if nothing has happened or with some slight adjustments, and that is a positive option. Energy transition with total decarbonization by 2050 is a regular scenario, though,” Sergey Vakulenko said.

At the same time, the expert is definitely not happy about the world’s doing nothing to reduce green gas emissions and solve the climate issues, as “it is going to cost us so much more later”. Mr. Vakulenko added that Gazprom is taking much effort to minimize harmful emissions and expects to reduce its carbon footprint by 30% by the year of 2030 (as compared to the figures of 2019).

Natalya Tretyak, First Vice President at Gazprombank, spoke on other challenges of the energy transformation period. “Today we see many banks and major investors taking a radical path and refusing to finance some industry sectors like the coal one. There is a risk that some sectors will cease to exist. We don’t really expect denial of financial assistance to carbon-intensive industry sectors to work. Our refusal to any of such companies can harm not only their employees, but to entire regions and their citizens,” she explained.

Sergey Vakulenko supported this point and remarked that for many countries gas was the best clean energy alternative. “It is less smoky than coal or animal manure. Analytical agencies predict that despite energy transformation the demand for oil and gas will remain quite high, and as far as I am concerned, recommending investors against placing money in oil and gas is mere madness,” he added.

The last part of the discussion brought up the topic of the future and the next generations. Representatives of Lukoil shared that they endeavored to train specialists for the company and even built a training center of their own in Kogalym (the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Region of Russia). Artur Gataullin, Gazprom Global Account Director at Schlumberger, and his colleague from Gazprom Neft corporate university Ilya Dementyev explained that the most advanced technologies currently sit with the petroleum sector. “According to Google, our supercomputer is on the world’s Top 10. Machine learning, cloud technologies, artificial intelligence - we’ve been using all of these in the oil and gas industry,” Artur Galiullin stated. Ilya Dementyev admitted it and announced that Gazprom was the major Russian recruiter of specialists from IT and related sectors. “Graduates wishing to work with the most cutting-edge technologies are just unaware that it is Gazprom where they should apply to,” he resumed.


Russia and Kazakhstan discussed mutual support scenarios

The new normal or turbulence period

Russia and Kazakhstan discussed mutual support scenarios.

In the nearest decades, the part of gas in the global energy resource system will grow, so Russia and Kazakhstan are going to join their export forces. European politicians are taking efforts to speed up energy transformation, causing a crisis for consumers. Aware of these attempts, Russia isn’t just idly waiting for the future but takes active action to meet it well-grounded, said Pavel Zavalny, Chairman of the State Duma’s Committee for Energy of the Russian Federation and President of the Russian Gas Society, at the 10th St. Petersburg International Gas Forum. 

“Energy transformation is already in progress, but importers are trying to speed it up by political means. This results in dozens of thousands of people staying disconnected from power. Politicians are rushing things. We are entering the era of new normal - or of turbulence. Russia is aware of these challenges, and our objective is to become the leaders of this transformation,” Mr. Zavalny said. He also reminded the audience that according to current agreements, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, Belarus and Armenia are looking forward to having a common gas market by 2025. 

Murat Zhurebekov, Vice Minister of Energy (Kazakhstan) added that today the countries have strong collaborative relations, and gas from Kazakhstan is transported to Europe via Gazprom’s pipelines. 

Mikhail Kuznetsov, Head of Technology Partnership and Equipment & Technology Import Substitution, Gazprom Neft, shared that KazMunayGas has already joined the list of the Institute for initiatives in oil and gas technologies founders. This facility is developing common industry standards, testing new technologies and products, and compiling a data base of reliable suppliers. By 2025, 5+ thousand experts are expected to issue 500+ standards, perform compliance evaluation of 100% of products and develop a data base embracing 3 thousand trusted equipment pieces and technologies. 

Valeriy Bessel, Professor at Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas, Executive Vice President at New Tech Services announced that in the past 40 years energy consumption on Earth doubled and keeps increasing by 2.8% every year. According to him, natural gas is going to prevail in the next century and play the key role in the energy transformation - at least because our today’s reserves of carbon feedstock can cover the planet’s demand for 52 years.

Gazprombank is ready to help with accurate supervision over the gas infrastructure development as well as any other projects ordered by the state. Oleg Melnikov, Executive Vice President of Gazprombank told the audience that for the last 10 years the bank had been successfully managing state contracts and had even developed a unique management system for that without any equivalents throughout the globe. The bank management experiment was started by Vladimir Putin, current Russian President, in the year of 2009 - at that time, he held the post of the Russian Prime Minister. 4 years later, the experiment was considered successful and implemented permanently. 

Dmitriy Teplinsky, First Deputy CEO at OMZ PJSC, stated that his company has every technology necessary to complete the hydrogen economy chain. They are just waiting for this fuel to become Number One. 

Thomas Pellette, President of Solar Turbines and Senior Vice President at Caterpillar Inc., spoke about abandoning carbon, too. He explained that gas as the most sustainable fuel would have the uttermost part in the energy transformation because energy demand would be growing. Caterpillar Inc. is already following this trend, gradually reducing emissions from their production procedures and equipment operated. 

Thomas Pellette added that their company had a wide network in Russia, employing 5+ thousand people, and they also had about 1 thousand workers in Kazakhstan, which could promote collaboration between the two countries.



Russia and Australia are not ready for collaborative energy projects yet

The countries are competing for LNG export to China

The countries are competing for LNG export to China. 

Participants of the round-table discussion Australia-Russia LNG / Hydrogen Dialogue discussed prospects of collaboration in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) market. Since 2018, Australia has been the major LNG exporter in the world.

George Gilboy, Vice President of Woodside Energy, the largest Australian energy company, was asked why his company didn’t invest into Russian LNG initiatives and how it could be engaged into the sector. Mr. Gilboy explained that Woodside Energy hadn’t collaborated with Russia before but things could change in the nearest perspective. 

At the same time, Australian investments in the Russian LNG market could help balancing the influence of China - our major investor - on the Arctic region, says Sergey Kapitonov, Gas Analyst from SKOLKOVO Energy Centre. According to Alexander Klimentyev, Principal Advisor in the Directorate of Investment and Innovation Policy at the Permanent Mission of Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Australia and Russia seem to be competing for LNG export to China. 

Meanwhile, Australia takes on natural gas use for hydrogen production. This state invests $26 billion to alternative energy sources and decarbonization, tipped off Peter Moore, Associate Professor from the Curtin University. In 2019, citizens of Perth, the city with major gas fields, arranged a protest and demanded that the state switched to renewable energy sources. Besides, high CO2 emission taxes imposed globally stimulated the Australian state to think about energy decarbonization. 

“We won’t be able to do overseas transportation unless we reduce our carbon footprint - the eco dues will be too high,” Peter Moore explains. Australia expects reaching zero carbon footprint by 2050, and for that they are going to switch their marine to liquefied fuel. 

Moreover, the state will invest into the carbon capture and storage technology to produce the most pure and blue hydrogen. According to Mr. Moore, the Australian state has assigned a mission of reducing the price of pure hydrogen to 2 AUD per 1 kg by 2030. 

Russia is also working on some carbon capture and storage initiatives, but hydrogen production by means of natural gas pyrolysis currently prevails. As put by Vladimir Voronov, Associate Professor, Faculty of Low-Temperature Energy, ITMO University, hydrogen produced by either of the technologies has the same price of $2 to 3,5 per 1 kg. Today, these are the most profitable production methods.

According to the Russian State Energy Strategy, by 2024 export of Russian-made hydrogen must reach 0.25 mln tons, and by 2035 - 2 mln tons. As for now, speaking of hydrogen energy is a little bit too ambitious. Mr. Voronov believes that major state grant support is required for hydrogen to get into the market and expects that Russia will prefer liquefied natural gas in the nearest perspective. 

An interesting fact was presented by Alexander Klimentyev, who announced that LNG production in the Arctic Region has the lowest carbon footprint in the world, which is 0.1 tons CO2 per 1 ton LNG. At the same time, Australian facilities feature one of the top emission rates in the world, coming to 0.5 tons CO2 per 1 ton LNG.



Sergey Vakuleno from Gazprom Neft isn’t sure that energy transformation can go as fast as expected

It will cost tax payers a fortune

It will cost tax payers a fortune.

At the international conference Oil and Gas Sector Contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals, Sergey Vakulenko, Head of Strategy and Innovation Department, Gazprom Neft PJSC, expressed his doubt on the likeliness of fast energy transformation and fossil fuels rejection. 

“Top analytical agencies like McKinsey are considering a scenario according to which the world countries won’t reach an agreement and will follow their ways as if nothing has happened or with some slight adjustments, and that is a positive option. Energy transition with total decarbonization by 2050 is a regular scenario,” Sergey Vakulenko said. According to him, whether we take the Kyoto or Paris or any other climate change protocol, none of them prescribe any fines or penalties for noncompliance.

He also pointed out that energy transformation would cost a fortune like thousands of dollars to every citizen in mature countries. “People usually discount future threats and are unwilling to spend money for them. Besides, as soon as people realize that this money is going to be spent somewhere far away from their homes, they will start considering if they really need it,” Mr. Vakulenko is sure.

“As far as I am concerned, doing nothing today is not a proper choice because it will cost us so much more later,” he reasoned. "Well, we can hope for a volcano to erupt as in 1813 with loads of ashes rising up in the air and causing a no-summer year with consequent ambient temperature reduction, but we’d better do something real now.” Mr. Vakulenko doesn’t really expect energy transformation to be as fast as many expect it to be. 

Gazprom Neft is doing a lot to protect the planet and expects to reduce its carbon footprint by 30% by the year of 2030 (as compared to the figures of 2019). 

“For this, we are going to enhance our energy efficiency, totally abandon routine gas burning etc. However, the mass media are not too concerned about it. They are more interested about what we are going to do in a decarbonized world,” Mr. Vakulenko specified.


Saint-Petersburg, Peterburgskoye highway, 64/1

EXPOFORUM, pavilion F, G, H, congress center


 October 4—7, 2022

 10:00 a.m. — 06:00 p.m.