Press Releases

09 March 2012

INTERNATIONAL ENERGY FORUM appoints FIRST /World Petroleum as publishing partner for IEF13 in Kuwait.

The International Energy Forum (IEF) is delighted to announce the launch of an official publication produced by FIRST/World Petroleum on behalf of the IEF to mark the 13th IEF and 5th IEBF hosted by Kuwait in Kuwait City, March 12th-14th 2012.
The Publication comprises contributions and commentary from a distinguished panel of energy ministers, international organisations, CEOs of leading NOC/IOCs and energy experts reflecting the key themes of the 13th IEF & 5th IEF (see below for synopsis).

The publication will also be circulated to attendees at the 13th IEF and 5th IEBF and the readers of FIRST/World Petroleum, who comprise international business and government leaders, worldwide.

“We are very pleased to have appointed the award-winning specialist publisher FIRST to produce the Official Publication for the 13th IEF and 5th IEBF, Kuwait. The publication will be a valuable reference work on the issues to be addressed at the 13th IEF Ministerial & 5th International Energy Business Forum as well as highlight the important work and mission of the IEF globally”, said Aldo Flores-Quiroga, IEF Secretary General.

“I am delighted that FIRST has been appointed to produce the official publication for the 13th IEF Ministerial and 5th International Energy Business Forum. Given the importance of the IEF

as the world’s largest gathering of Energy Ministers, and the significance of the global energy dialogue focused on energy security and the global economy, this represents an important opportunity to work with the IEF and create a publication of real and lasting value.”, said Eamonn Daly, Chief Operating Officer of FIRST.

Notes for Editors:

The IEF is the world's largest gathering of Energy Ministers.
The International Energy Forum (IEF) aims to foster greater mutual understanding and awareness of common energy interests among its members.
The 88 Member Countries of the Forum are signatories to the IEF Charter, which outlines the framework of the global energy dialogue through this inter-governmental arrangement.
Covering all six continents and accounting for around 90% of global supply and demand for oil and gas, the IEF is unique in that it comprises not only consuming and producing countries of the IEA and OPEC, but also Transit States and major players outside of their memberships, including Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Oman, Russia and South Africa. Sitting alongside other important developed and developing economies on the 31 strong IEF Executive Board these key nations are active supporters of the global energy dialogue through the IEF.
The IEF is the neutral facilitator of informal, open, informed and continuing global energy dialogue. Recognising their interdependence in the field of energy, the member countries of the IEF co-operate under the neutral framework of the Forum to foster greater mutual understanding and awareness of common energy interests in order to ensure global energy security.
The Forum's biennial Ministerial Meetings are the world's largest gathering of Energy Ministers. The magnitude and diversity of this engagement is a testament to the position of the IEF as a neutral facilitator and honest broker of solutions in the common interest.
Through the Forum and its associated events, IEF Ministers, their officials, energy industry executives, and other experts engage in a dialogue of increasing importance to global energy security.
The IEF and the global energy dialogue are promoted by a permanent Secretariat of international staff based in the Diplomatic Quarter of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

FIRST was founded twenty-five years ago. It publishes specialist periodicals, text books, special reports, maps and manages high level events. It produces a number of official publications for leading international organisations associated with global energy issues, including the World Petroleum Council and World Energy Council.
It also undertakes event management and manages its international ‘Responsible Capitalism’ programme. Market coverage is widespread – over 100 countries. FIRST is a winner of a PPA Award for Publishing Excellence and received a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2010. FIRST has offices in London and Washington, DC.


The number of top ministerial and official contributors to this publication is a tribute to the value governments and international organisations place on the importance of the IEF as a forum to discuss today’s key energy issues – supply and demand trends, security of supply and demand, energy markets and oil price stability, and investments for the future.
As Aldo Flores-Quiroga of the IEF says, the IEF is a neutral facilitator of dialogue between energy consumers and producers, whose relationship has sometimes been tense in past decades. This value of the IEF as an impartial forum for discussion of sensitive issues is emphasised by many ministers. Among them, Ali Al-Naimi of Saudi Arabia stresses the broad balance between the IEF’s energy consuming and producing country members means that its dialogue is designed to serve all and be dominated by none. This usefulness of the IEF as an arena for discussion, especially at a time of increasing tightness in the world oil market, gets a strong echo from Daniel Poneman of the US.
Running through this publication and indeed all IEF discussions are the two overarching themes, as singled out by Ben Knapen of the Netherlands and Charles Hendry of the UK, of price volatility on energy markets, and investment trends to meet future supply and balance challenges. Consumers and producers will inevitably differ over prices, but diversity is the essence of the IEF dialogue. Natig Aliyev of Azerbaijan, a new IEF country member, adds to this diversity by warning, as a strongly emerging energy producer, that “unreasonably high prices” could hurt producer interests by depressing demand. But Phil Heatley of New Zealand is strongly critical of subsidised prices for fossil fuels as leading to waste and inefficiency.
Both producers and consumers deplore price volatility as disruptive of investment plans and undermining of energy efficiency. However, the IEF and its two main sister organisations – OPEC and the IEA – clearly maintain their basic faith in market forces to set prices, provided these market forces can work in greater transparency. Said Nachet of IEF lays out the IEF’s extensive work programme. This includes the Joint Organisations Data Initiative (JODI), which is praised by Maria van der Hoeven of the IEA, and research into financial speculation on oil markets, which is welcomed by Abdalla El-Badri of OPEC.
Investment issues loom large for energy producers of both oil and gas. Hani Hussein of Kuwait, host country for IEF13, stresses producers’ concerns about security of demand for their energy, a concern echoed by Youcef Yousfi of Algeria, the major gas exporter. IEF producers have a range of attitudes to foreign investment in their energy sectors, but Martin Ferguson of Australia puts ‘the welcome mat’ out for foreign investment in his own country’s energy production. Eelco Hoekstra of Vopak reminds of the importance of investment right along the energy supply chain, including storage and transport of oil and gas which are traded ever more widely across the world. A final perspective comes from two ‘historians’ of the IEF, Bassam Fattouh and Coby van der Linde. They chart the organisation’s growing achievements over 20 years, but note that the forum remains one more of dialogue than of decision for the IEF’s sovereign governments.


The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2012 to be the “International Year of Sustainable Energy for All”. This is designed to galvanise the international community into fresh action to provide access to basic energy for the 1.3 billion people around the world who lack electricity and clean cooking facilities. The issues of energy access and energy poverty therefore naturally figure again on the agenda of this year’s IEF meetings.
The higher political profile given to energy poverty is in no small part due to the analytic work of Fatih Birol of the IEA, who has, for several years now, highlighted in IEA publications, the problem, its causes and potential remedies. The IEA economist charts the success of China, and modest progress in India, in spreading electrification. But he says that on present policies the absolute number of people without access to modern energy will be unchanged in 2030 and in sub-Saharan Africa the number will actually increase. Yet the goal is not out of reach. Spending US$48bn a year would achieve the UN’s goal of sustainable energy for all by 2030 – a large amount, but only 3 per cent of expected global energy infrastructure over the period.
Playing their part in the global effort are the development agencies, including OPEC’s own OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) which, along with the IEA, has raised the profile of energy poverty and access at IEF meetings. Suleiman Al-Herbish of OFID explains what his organisation has done to promote energy solutions and to fund programmes for energy schemes, including renewable energy. However, he notes that energy policy matters as much as energy programmes, and that “governments of developing countries are in the driving seat, as they alone can implement the reforms necessary to attract investors”. Mohamed Bin Dhaen Al-Hamli of the UAE explains why his country, a prominent member of OPEC, has decided to develop renewable energy, not only out of an obligation to help mitigate climate change, but also for the practical reason of “ releasing more hydrocarbons for export, while reducing our carbon footprint at home.”
A strong call for green energy technology to be used in the fight against energy poverty comes from Kandeh Yumkella of UNIDO, the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation. UNIDO has launched a Green Industry Initiative, designed to accelerate green economic growth in manufacturing and to use decentralised renewable electricity to leapfrog the lack of fixed power grids in many developing countries in the same way that mobile telephony could leapfrog over inadequate fixed telephone networks. Vjay Iyer of the World Bank drives home the same point about the contribution of renewable energy to solving energy poverty. He focuses particularly on the World Bank is doing to help Africa exploit its vast renewable potential, and says “it is time to respond” to the UN appeal for action.


Companies count in the IEF dialogue. And they get their chance to air their concerns in the business forum accompanying the ministerial meetings. Steering the business discussions and channeling business input into the ministerial forum is the Industry Advisory Committee (IAC). This body is very much under industry ‘ownership’ with company executives chairing it. This reflects the reality that much of the success of the IEF dialogue turns on its work in improving cooperation between the world’s NOCs and IOCs.
As Stuart Brooks of Chevron and Adeeb Al-Aama of Saudi Aramco, respectively chair and alternate chair of the IAC, explain, the Committee is well placed to act as a ‘radar screen’. It enables the industry to spot emerging issues of concern, and to put these issues in front of government policy-makers. In a diverse industry, there are naturally nuanced views on the essence of NOC-IOC relationship. Christophe de Margerie of Total takes a broad view, seeing joint NOC-IOC ventures as potentially not only long-lasting industrial partnerships but also sometimes extending into the fields of health, education or culture. For Rex Tillerson of ExxonMobil, the soundest foundation for IOC-NOC partnerships is mutual acceptance of partners’ respective strengths and responsibilities. He extends this to include the role of responsible governments to pursue market-based policies, based
on the rule of law and sanctity of contracts. John Watson of Chevron sees the pursuit of affordable energy supplies as the best way of aligning interests across the industry.
Farouq Al-Zanki of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation suggests that some pressures may be pushing IOCs and NOCs apart. The former are driven more by demands of capital markets and their international investors, while the latter are primarily pressed by socio-economic and political demands at home. But Kuwait has still struck win-win cooperation deals with IOCs. Sudhir Vasudeva of India’s ONGC says his company’s partnership with IOCs has been “most satisfactory”. India values cooperation, given that it has 17 per cent of the world’s population but only 0.6 per cent of oil reserves and 0.8 per cent of gas reserves.
Peter Voser of Royal Dutch Shell see opportunities for IOC-NOC cooperation to focus on gas – in particular, the exploitation of sour or tight gas reservoirs common in the Middle East; the satisfaction of fast-growing demand for LNG; and in the capturing of gas whose association with oil can make its extraction hard to manage. Jakob Thomasen of Maersk Oil explains his company’s innovative use of gas, burned with pure oxygen to produce clean power, pure water and CO2 for enhancing oil recovery.
Looking to secure future human resources to sustain the industry, Pierce Riemer of the World Petroleum Council urges greater efforts to attract young people into the industry.


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