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Thu 09 June 2016

Event Report: NCCJ Luncheon Meeting on 13 May, 2016.

About 40 NCCJ members and guests were treated to an insider’s view of the energy industry at a luncheon meeting held on Friday, May 13, at Tokyo’s Shangri-La Hotel.

Mr. Chris Gunner, who is from Australia, and the Japan Country Chairman of Royal Dutch Shell, talked about how, through technological and commercial innovation, Shell is continuing its journey from its roots long ago as a petroleum company to being an all-round provider of energy, meeting the demands of a growing world, while mindful of the need to manage the emission of CO2.

He presented an overview of Shell’s operational activities both in Japan and worldwide, noting that Royal Dutch Shell, while maintaining strong links with the Netherlands, is a truly international company. He emphasized the important role that natural gas has to play both in its own right, and as a complement to renewables, meeting the future global requirement for energy as developing economies continue to grow, and populations urbanize and increase, leading to a predicted doubling of energy demand by 2050. At the same time, if climate change challenges are to be met, noting that CO2 emissions need to be halved – with the point being made that, as well as CO2 being of concern, for many populations air quality is also a serious issue that needs to be addressed, with the phasing-out of coal fired power generation being an important enabler in tackling both of these.

Gunner explained that to achieve climate goals, society should be willing to consider government-mandated carbon pricing mechanisms. He noted that Shell includes the potential cost of carbon as part of its planning process when considering investments. He also introduced the topic of Carbon Capture and Storage, and the need for society to more widely recognize the importance of this as a necessary component of managing CO2 emissions.

Gunner has particular interest in (and evident enthusiasm for) Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) - with Japan, having almost no native fossil-fuel resources, being the world’s largest LNG consumer. LNG is liquefied at the export site by being cooled to minus 162 degrees C, which reduces the resulting liquid’s volume to 1/600th of its original gaseous volume, before being transported by ship to its end-use destination.

In touching on recent LNG technologies, he noted that Shell is constructing the world’s largest ever floating structure (488 meters long and 74 meters wide) known as ‘Prelude’, which will be anchored some 200 km offshore the West Australian coast for about 25 years, where it will liquefy gas drawn from the subsea gas field, and load the resultant LNG directly into carriers for transportation to distant markets.

Following his formal presentation, Gunner answered questions from the floor on the subject of (among others) “cap and trade” carbon reduction policies, and engaged in a wider discussion with those attending about what the energy scene may look like the decades to come.

Event Photos