In advance of this year’s Madrid Energy Conference, we are hosting a series of curtain-raiser webinars to allow for a deeper dive into some of the key themes that make up the conference agenda. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) trade and the regional natural gas market outlook are crucial topics of shared interest in Europe, Latin America the United States.
The role for natural gas in the global energy matrix counts advocates for its potential as the cleanest fuel for electricity generation and industrial operations. Indeed, the last several years has seen a wide-ranging debate regarding the extent to which LNG and natural gas fits into the global energy transition and the increasing deployment of renewable energy. Are natural gas and renewables friends or foes? How critical is natural gas-fired electricity for baseload power? Is natural gas truly a bridge fuel? Have we already crossed the bridge?
Since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, more near-term market and price issues have swirled around LNG and natural gas. As with global oil markets, natural gas and LNG markets and prices have been pummeled. The United States has seen a massive curtailment of shipments from the Gulf Coast while demand in Europe and Asia have wildly fluctuated. LNG and natural gas prices also remain under substantial pressure, but have not faced the same degree of pain as the oil markets.
In Latin America, countries are struggling to balance their domestic supply-demand profiles against the backdrop of a major economic downturn, and to implement clear-eyed energy policy solutions to ensure the fastest recovery possible. Meanwhile, major natural gas reserve holders such as Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, and Peru are under pressure to implement policy and regulatory measures to expedite the monetization of their reserves, given the increasing risk that they could be left in the ground under a deep energy transition scenario.
In Argentina, questions surround the pace of developments and advances in natural gas production from Neuquén’s unconventional play, Vaca Muerta. As the country navigates its macroeconomic crisis on top of COVID-19, the Fernandez administration demonstrated pragmatism in its recently developed natural gas incentive policy framework “Plan Gas 4”.
Meanwhile, Bolivia, for years a major exporter of natural gas to both Argentina and Brazil, has been consumed by a political transition and ever-changing political calendar that will elect the next administration. The steep decline in gross natural gas supplies seen in 2019 surprised many, increasing the urgency for new policies and outlook for E&P activities in the country.
Brazil, a key consumer and market for natural gas from Bolivia, continues to debate a major overhaul of its natural gas model with the aim of further liberalizing the sector and lowering Petrobras’ grip on the sector, particularly over midstream and commercialization. Increasing the monetization of natural gas reserves associated with the country’s Pre Salt fields through lower reinjection rates is a growing energy policy debate stemming from the country’s natural gas outlook.
Join us for this Madrid Energy Conference curtain-raiser webinar and virtual panel with Christopher Goncalves, Chair and Managing Director of the BRG Energy & Climate practice and Roberto Ferreira da Cunha, Director of BRG Energy & Climate for South America. Goncalves will share his insights and outlook for global LNG markets and perspectives on markets in the Hemisphere and Ferreira da Cunha will provide an update on natural gas developments in South America.
The webinar will be held Tuesday, Sep 15 2020 / 8:00 AM-9:00 AM Pacific Daylight Time (PDT). The panel will include a live Q&A session with the audience.