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IEA: Natural Gas Must Meet 'Golden Rules'

Source: IEA Click to enlarge image
World production of natural gas could more than triple to 1.6 trillion cubic meters by 2035, but the industry must comply with 'Golden Rules' of responsibility or face deteriorating political, environmental and regulatory consequences, the International Energy Agency said in a report.

The concerns of local communities are legitimate, said IEA Chief Economist Fatih Birol, the report’s chief author.

“If this new industry is to prosper, it needs to earn and maintain its social license to operate,” Birol said. “This comes with a financial cost, but in our estimation the additional costs are likely to be limited.” The report placed those costs at seven percent.

In a statement the IEA outlined its recommendations: "full transparency, measuring and monitoring of environmental impacts and engagement with local communities; careful choice of drilling sites and measures to prevent any leaks from wells into nearby aquifers; rigorous assessment and monitoring of water requirements and of waste water; measures to target zero venting and minimal flaring of gas; and improved project planning and regulatory control."

Birol also said the low price levels of natural gas in the United States are not sustainable, and suggested in the next several years the price could rise to $5.4 per million British Thermal Units in order to provide incentives for investment.

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