Peter Stewart spoke on June 17th at a panel at the World Petroleum Congress in Moscow on the theme of oil and gas prices. Speaking on behalf of Interfax Global Energy Services where he works as Chief Energy Analyst, Peter said that the relative price of oil and gas would be a defining factor for the energy industry over the next decade. Crude oil prices have averaged around $110/barrel for the last three years, while gas prices — despite being regionally defined — have typically been substantially cheaper: around $3-5/MMBtu at Henry Hub in the US, the equivalent of $10-11/MMBtu in Europe and between $12-20/MMBtu in Asia depending on the region and time of year. The wide gap between oil and gas prices could open the door to gas becoming a more popular fuel in the transport sector, and also makes capital-intensive technologies such as Gas to Liquids (GTLs) potentially more attractive. Meanwhile, if the spread between the two fuels were to narrow substantially, either due to a rise in gas prices or a fall in oil prices, the economic viability of such projects would potentially be turned on its head.
Peter Stewart is managing editor of Global Gas Analytics, a monthly publication by Interfax providing in-depth gas market analysis.