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Sun. June 23, 2024
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Oil, Gas and OPEC +
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Following successes of the similar programs in Europe (Vienna and Geneva notably), the Istanbul-based International Organization along with its European (think-tank, academia, cultural diplomacy, and media) partners decided to launch the special executive program for future leaders on its own.

Hence, by the Program’s launch in February 2023, this format gathered participants of diverse professional backgrounds and varied geographies, including Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East – largely the emerging leaders from the government, international organizations, or industry. The Future Leaders Executive Program’s concept is rather simple: Participants are spending a whole day with top-level speakers – mainly the world leaders that shaped events of the past decades (two per month, last Friday-Saturday in month) in an open, Chatham House rules-based atmosphere, all situated within the historic premisses of the city on two continents.

On the 28th of April 2023, H.E. Adnan Shibab Eldin, former Secretary general of OPEC was the speaker of the 1st-day session of the 3rd round of the FLEP program. The content rich day touched upon various issues such as energy crisis, energy transition, resource shortages, sustainability. H.E. Adnan spent most of his time in international and multilateral organizations (including the UNESCO Cairo Office in Egypt, and senior position with the Vienna-based watch-dog, IAEA). His role as OPEC Secretary General has been significantly impacted by this choice.

When discussing the causes of the formation of OPEC, he claimed that the decrease in profits for oil producers was brought about by the choice of oil firms to drop prices. This latter was unhappy with the choice and saw the opportunity to build something that protect their rights.

Regarding the current global energy scenario, he argued that COP26 had confirmed the public, businesses, and government’s strong commitment to accelerating the structural energy shift that is already in progress. But unlike previous transitions, he notes that the current transition was not being driven by a lack of resources, a need for economic growth, or a need for technology, nor was it ascending to denser energies and powers. Rather, it is heading in the direction of reduced power density, together with the necessity for mass-scale distance transmission and stowage (biomass vs. fossil fuels).

Excellency noted that energy security became even critical since the war in Ukraine.

Primary Energy Mix – Is the alternation attainable?

With increased volatility and potential interruptions, Energy Transition is now characterized by greater uncertainties, notably those relating to global economic development and the availability of critical capital.

While discussing the long-term outlook for world energy, Excellency pointed out that the various assumptions and methods used by ET result in significant variances in the majority of areas. Some, such as the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Net Zero Emissions and International Renewable Energy Agency, define the goal and work backward to determine the necessary policies, technological innovations, and investments.

Others, including IEA, OPEC, etc., continue to create scenarios with GDP growth, pricing, and climate POLICIES assumptions that result in quick transitions without securing the endpoint or fixing the choice of technology or primary sources.

Nevertheless, the forecasts for the highest and lowest natural gas demand in 2050, and much more so for renewable energy, show enormous disparities. Such differences may be seen in the significant discrepancy between the estimates for the highest and lowest nuclear demand in 2050, as well as the even greater discrepancy for the deployment of CCUS (Carbon Capture, Usage, and Storage) that is required. Under many technological and climate scenarios, the need for nuclear energy increases quite quickly.

From there raise some concerns such as if the total global energy use will drop by ~8% by 2050 with the 2 billion more people.

Although it's irrefutable that countries should work for their own interest, international organizations should bear in mind the fact that socio-economic development is strongly correlated to energy access as that of electricity in particular. Therefore, all efforts should be in the sense of providing energy equity, energy sovereignty, judged by its access and its affordability.

As the session was moving toward its end, H.E Adnan provided participants with his insights on the prospects for the price of oil and other commodities. He believes that certain measures to balance energy mix are gradually getting in place, including the projected RePowerEU.

As the event draw to a close, H.E. Adnan Shibab Eldin and President of ICYF, Taha AYHAN (as a principal host to the event) jointly expressed what all participants had already concluded throughout the day: that the Future Leaders Executive Program offers a unique setting. Excellency Secretary General and President Taha both agreed that this particular format – in which an established experience meets the new passions and drives through cross generational leaders’ talks – represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for emerging leaders from verities of environments: the state, intergovernmental, and corporate sectors of all meridians.

The mesmerising ship of insights and wisdom gets a full swing sail once again. Its next fascinating port of call awaits before too long, with a former Prime Minister of Norway, Bondevik, and former Presidetn of Slovenia and top positioned UN official, Danilo Türk (on 26th and 27th May).  

Faroukou Mintoiba graduated from Istanbul Commerce University with a master’s degree in political science, with a specialization in African Studies and International Relations. As a social activist, he has been a consultant in humanitarian work and voluntarism for different organizations. He advocates for youth social and political involvement and is currently working at the Istanbul-based international organization ICYF (Islamic Cooperation Youth Forum).

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