The 7th IEA Energy Experts Meeting, Bangkok

Over 120 delegates from forty countries attended the International Energy Agency’s Energy Expert’s Meeting, co-hosted by the Thailand Ministry of Energy. Delegates called for continuing
cooperation among energy producers and consumers to enhance global energy security and market stability both from a supply and demand perspective. Discussions focused on issues ranging from global oil market stability, cross-border trading in electricity and gas, growing LNG trade, and the investment outlook for energy infrastructure.

Dr. Prommin Lertsuridej, the Thai Energy Minister, said during the opening address that an assessment of any country’s energy needs within its own national boundary is missing the point, since the ultimate objective of energy security and stability should arise from common concerns in the region and beyond. Minister Lertsuridej said that “The Thaksin government is determined to utilize Thailand’s geographical advantage to its fullest potential as the region’s energy center” through a more synchronized and interconnected regional energy market via interconnection of the electricity grids and the natural gas pipeline systems, as well as regional strategic oil stockpiling. These interconnections would allow each country to achieve lower energy costs and more efficient management of its own energy reserves.

The IEA’s Deputy Executive Director, Ambassador William C. Ramsay, said that the purpose of holding the meeting in Bangkok “was to raise global awareness of the already considerable and growing importance of Asian countries in world energy markets, now and even more in the future”. Ambassador Ramsay welcomed recent decisions taken in Thailand to enhance regional energy integration, and he looked forward to developing further the IEA-ASEAN collaborative programmes including oil security and electricity and gas sector reform.