The APEC Energy Working Group (EWG) will address a number of significant regional energy industry issues when it meets in Seoul, Korea, on December 3-4.
Officials will also advance preparations for the 6th APEC Energy Ministers' Meeting that is scheduled to take place in the Philippines in June 2004.
The APEC Energy Working Group brings together representatives of APEC's 21 Member Economies that collectively account for around 60% of global energy demand.
Chair of the EWG, Mr. John Ryan, said the APEC EWG is an important forum for ensuring efficient and secure access to energy supplies for the people of the Asia-Pacific Region.
"Greater cross border cooperation and technological improvements is creating new business and employment opportunities and delivering more competitive energy options to consumers," Mr. Ryan said.
"The EWG is working to facilitate this process through the development of secure and efficient regional energy supplies and networks for distribution for all APEC Member Economies."
Key Agenda Issues for the 26th EWG Meeting:
Preparedness for energy supply disruption
This will be the first EWG meeting to take place since the August power outage in the North Eastern United States and Canada which demonstrated the region's reliance on secure and ongoing power supplies. Korea will present a paper on energy emergency response arrangements that are in place in Korea.
Implementation of energy security initiative
At their meeting in Bangkok, APEC Leaders endorsed an implementation and action plan for the APEC Energy Security Initiative. The ESI is a comprehensive strategy developed by the EWG that is made up of measures to respond to temporary supply disruptions and longer-term policy responses to address the broader challenges facing the region's energy supply.
Strengthening interconnection of cross border oil pipelines, gas pipelines & power grids
To facilitate ongoing energy co-operation, the EWG has undertaken a project to identify and overcome political, technical, economic, regulatory, treaty, legal and financing barriers to interconnection of electricity grids. APEC Energy Ministers have requested the EWG broaden this project to address the interconnection of natural gas, including liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Other issues on the 25th EWG agenda include improving public understanding of energy issues, sharing of energy supply data between economies, earthquake response cooperation, increasing access to energy in developing economies and developing a framework for discussing nuclear energy issues within EWG.
The EWG undertakes a number of self-funded projects and meets formally twice each year. The first meeting for 2003 took place in Portland, Oregon in the United States in June, and the second meeting is taking place in Seoul, Republic of Korea, in December 2003.