The world’s largest meeting place for natural gas, LNG, hydrogen, low-carbon solutions, and climate technologies will return to Houston, Texas – the energy capital of the world – in 2024 with what promises to be among the largest gatherings in the event’s history. With a remarkable legacy spanning over half a century, Gastech has consistently held a pivotal position in shaping the energy industry. Its annual four-day extravaganza attracts an esteemed gathering of global energy leaders, thought leaders, and cutting-edge innovators, offering an unparalleled experience for all industry stakeholders.
Houston’s Post Oak Hotel in Uptown Houston set the stage for an exclusive launch party and panel discussion titled “US LNG and its Critical Role in Supporting Global Energy Security.” This event marked the official countdown to Gastech’s return September 17 – 20, 2024.
The evening kicked off with remarks from Chris Hudson, President of Energy for dmg::events, who praised the industry for being on the “vanguard of secure and stable energy” for the U.S. and the world. dmg:events, a subsidiary of Britain’s Daily Mail Group, organizes the annual conference, which is being held in Singapore later this year.
Harris County Precinct One Commissioner Rodney Ellis followed, and said he was “so glad to have Gastech back in Houston.”
“In 2023, the USA will be the world’s largest exporter of LNG supporting a secure, affordable, and sustainable energy future for our global partners,” Ellis continued. “As the energy capital of the world, Houston has both the opportunity and the responsibility to lead the energy transition to a more efficient, energy-abundant, low-carbon future.”
“There is no better time for Gastech to come back to Houston,” Ellis added.
Andy Icken, chief development officer for the City of Houston, agreed, adding, “Yes, Houston is the energy capital of the world, but it’s also the energy transition capital of the world.”
The panel discussion featured industry veterans Corey Ayers, Vice President of Gas Supply at Mexico Pacific, Matt Chandler, the President of LNG Market Development at ExxonMobil, and Najla Jamoussi, the Director of Market Fundamentals – Global LNG at Cheniere, were selected as distinguished panelists. Ensuring a balanced and insightful conversation, the discussion was skillfully moderated by Benoit Moreene, the Houston-based Energy Reporter for The Wall Street Journal.
Matt Chandler spoke about the growth of the U.S. LNG production and a coming third wave. “We’re not done yet,” he said. Chandler spoke at length about some current challenges in the market, including rising interest rates, which can stifle growth because many projects are so large they require significant debt service. He also lamented that many potential production markets around the world are still closed to American companies.
Corey Ayers spoke about the energy crisis in Europe in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the desire for energy security in Asia. Given its global proximity, “the west coast of Mexico makes a ton of sense,” said Ayers.
Najla Jamoussi spoke about price volatility. “Prices have corrected from the lights of last year,” she said, “but a third wave is forming,” echoing Chandler’s optimism for global production and demand.
“Now, we are in a soft patch,” she added. Jamoussi went on to express industry concerns about LNG storage in Europe and the potential drag from macro factors globally affecting demand. But, “a soft summer does not mean a soft winter,” she remarked.
But weather is a major factor. She pointed out that Europe last year had its second warmest winter on record, exceeded only by the winter of 2019-2020. But, she noted there could be a “price premium” if Europe gets into a bidding war with Asia.
Matt Chandler broached the environmental benefits of natural gas, arguing that if LNG completely displaced coal, there would be a 30 to 50 percent reduction in global carbon emissions.
Jamoussi closed by taking stock of the extraordinary global events recently. “The universe threw a flock of black swans at us in the past few years,” she said.
Will it continue? “It’ll be exciting,” quipped Matt Chandler.