Natural gas the future of energy: Qatar energy minister
  • | AFP | November 02, 2010 09:04 AM

Natural gas will become more "desirable" than other energy sources including renewables, nuclear and fossil fuels, Qatar\'s energy minister said Monday.

File photo of Abdulla bin Hamad al-Attiyah, Qatari deputy premier and minister for energy and industry.

Speaking at an international energy forum in Singapore, Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah said he was confident that global natural gas adoption would accelerate, mainly for price and environmental reasons.

"I\'m certain... that natural gas will continue to gain further momentum as a clean and secure source of energy," he said.

"Coupled with the environmental regulations and emission reduction policies, this much cleaner fuel is becoming the most desirable source of energy for large-scale electricity generation worldwide."

He said coal and oil use were unviable due to their detrimental environmental effects, while biofuels\' main disadvantages included high food crop prices, copious land use and excessive water usage.

Nuclear power, while seen as clean, emits carbon dioxide and generates radioactive waste that has to be disposed of safely and properly.

Renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and hydro power are "environmentally-promising" but remain too expensive, the minister said.

"Major technological breakthroughs across the renewable energy production chain are needed in order to economically tap these sources of energy," he added.

Qatar, which boasts the world\'s third largest natural gas reserves, is starting to see more demand from Asia, the Qatari minister said.

"We start to divert more cargoes to Asia.... We are discussing for another seven million tons extra to China and another four to five million to India," he said.

The emirate is also expanding its natural gas business in the Gulf region, he said.

"Believe it or not we succeeded to establish (an) energy market in the Gulf. If you told somebody few years ago, he would tell you this is a joke," he said.

"Today we are contracted to supply Dubai next year, and also we are discussing with other potential consumers in the Gulf."

Qatar was also establishing natural gas markets in Canada and in Latin American countries such as Argentina, Chile and Mexico, he said.

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