Azerbaijan, Baku, July 1 / Trend , A.Badalova/
President of Eurogas Domenico Dispenza spoke with Trend in an exclusive interview.
Trend : Can we assume that in the light of the world financial crisis the prognosis on demand and prices for gas for the nearest 3-5 years will be revised?
Domenico Dispenza: Each year Eurogas is monitoring the evolution of gas consumption in Europe. Typically for the year 2008, compared to 2007, we saw an increase of 2.1% of the gas consumption in Europe.
For the year 2009, it is too early to respond but it is likely that - due to the financial crisis - a recession or a stabilization of gas consumption will occur.
Earlier this year - depending on countries - we could see a drop mainly in industry consumption but we might have reached the bottom of such a trend and improvements are hoped in the second part of 2009. For the 3-5 years to come it is even more too early to make full forecasts but an increase in natural gas consumption should be confirmed, pending of course on the evolution of economy and on the overall competitiveness of natural gas.
It is too early to make accurate forecasts but we don't see why the current trends in terms of a confirmation or even a reinforcement of the role of natural gas in the energy mix should be weakened.
Q: Don't you think that the declared demand for gas import by Europe from the Central Asia, Caspian region and Middle East does not reflect the real opportunities for the transportation of this volume and their availability, even taking into consideration the fact that the actual supplies will start not earlier 2013-2014?
A: We believe that security of supply is influenced by number of factors such as diversity of gas sources and diversified infrastructures allowing gas movements to European Union. Caspian area will play a significant role at the horizon 2013-2014. How this will materialize is still to be determined. We are in permanent contact with the European Commission and other public and private bodies to encourage realistic forecasts.
Q: Why in the background of the drop in world oil prices, the cost of the projects on construction of alternative pipelines to Europe have not been revised since the mid of 2008?
A: Number of the projects are based on (very) long planning processes and contracts elements are often fixed years ahead. Of course all depends on the actual provisions of specific engineering and supply contracts and wherever possible great attention is paid to keep costs as low as possible. For new contracts, the impact of the 2008/2009 crisis could be significant and costs could be reduced considering the decrease in metal prices and related infrastructures equipments.