The presentations of the 2014 annual Asia-Pacific Research Council conference have been posted online, with the exception of the presentation by CFE. The conference was held in Tokyo, March 25-28.
The general idea of the conference was a search for ways to enhance the energy security of the region. There were speakers from New Zealand, Australia, Thailand, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea, PRC, ROC, ROK, Russia, Japan, Canada, USA, Mexico and Peru.
One speaker, Nobuo Tanaka, a former director of the IEA, warned that an extended blockade of the Gulf of Hormuz, from which Japan receives 85% of its oil and 20% of its LNG, would shut down the Japanese economy. He called for the renewal of nuclear power ASAP.
The two speakers from the U.S. were asked to comment on the dynamic of the “shale revolution”. Thomas B. Murphy, Co-Director of Penn State’s Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research gave a presentation on developments in the Marcellus region. One innovation was the use of water pipelines to use in place of water trucks for fracking. One pipeline 40 miles long replaced the traffic of thousands of trucks.
George Baker, from Texas, emphasized the importance of private ownership of minerals as an important explanatory variable as to why the shale revolution started in the U.S. “It took off outside of federal regulation, a situation difficult to simulate in other countries, where only the State is the ownership of the minerals. Francis Nguyen, director of the International Energy Policy Branch, explained how a market dynamic was possible in Canada by auctions, despite the fact that the resources were owned by the provinces.
Other speakers commented on the lack of pipeline and electric connections between countries. There have been years of discussion about natural gas pipelines from Siberia to China, Japan and South Korea; but, to date, none is in place.
A similar story is told about electrical interconnections. In the aftermath of Fukushima, it became apparent that Japan needed a subsea connection with South Korea as a back-up for its electrical grid. There is an electrical interconnection between China and North Korea, also between Thailand and Burma; but a broader regional integration is in the distant future.
A discussion to the barriers of regional integration in Southeast Asia is found in a publication ASEAN Energy Market Integration (AEMI): From Coordination to Integration. The coordinator of this academic initiative is Dr. Nawal Kamel, who is a Canadian citizen who is originally from Egypt and who is a visiting professor of economics at Chulalongkorn University in Thailand. She can be reached at Nawal.Thailand@gmail.com.
The discussion of developments in geothermal resources is outlined in a separate report, Market Note 188, “Outlook for Geothermal Resources,” posted on our website here.
The presentation may be downloaded here.