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June 11, 2007

Abdullah: Energy key for Asia's future growth
Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said here on Monday that energy would play a key role for Asia's future growth and prosperity, urging countries in the region to make the energy industry sustainable and accessible to all

"The rapid growth in emerging economies will drive a significant expansion in global demand for energy in the period up to 2030," Badawi told the 12th Annual Asia Oil & Gas Conference which opened at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center here.

"The Asian region, led by China and India, will play a prominent role in fueling this expansion," Badawi said.
Forecasting that the energy demand is expected to grow by 3.7 percent per annum, Asia will overtake the North America as the single largest market for energy, he said.

Noting that energy supply, although plentiful now, is not optimistic in the long-term, the Malaysian leader said that energy interdependence, managing sustainablity, technology and innovation, as well as human capital development will help shape the future of energy.

He stressed that various political issues and conflicts in the region, especially in West Asia, will have a significant impact on energy security.
Badawi added that climate change is one of the issues concerned in the region, urging a global framework to be established to promote energy efficiency.

Technology was expected to play a critical role in finding and unlocking energy resources, especially in harsh and difficult environments, he said.
Sophisticated technology was enabling the industry to develop previously uneconomic, unconventional resources such as oil sands, heavy oil as well as oil shale, he said, adding that these would be vital to enhancing energy security in the future.

Badawi said technological improvements would also help reduce the environmental footprint of the energy industry, including the reduction of carbon monoxide emissions.
He urged Asian national oil companies and other oil and gas participants in Asia to invest in technology and innovations, hoping that Asian energy companies would eventually emerge as leaders in the development and application of new technologies within the industry.

The conference is being co-hosted by Malaysia's state-owned oil company Petronas, the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research and other groups. More than 1,200 delegates from 50 countries were participating the two-day event. PNA/Xinhua

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