The objectives for the 2007 meetings of APEC Energy and Mining Ministers have been established by a meeting of the APEC Energy Working Group (EWG).
Taking place in the far eastern Russian island of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk on October 4-5, the EWG meeting was also attended by representative of the International Energy Agency (IEA) for the first time since the IEA was granted Guest Status in the EWG by the working group earlier this year.
The meeting agreed that the policy focus of the 3rd APEC Ministers Responsible for Mining Meeting in Perth, Australia, on February 12-16, would include the consideration of a set of non-binding APEC Mining Policy Principles. The ministerial meeting would also consider proposals for increased information exchange and capacity building for the mining industry that would be developed through greater public-private dialogue.
For the 8th APEC Energy Ministers' Meeting to be held in Darwin, Australia, on May 27-30 2007 EWG meeting agreed that the desired outcome of the meeting would be to move on from the impact of oil prices and examine the long-term energy challenges facing the APEC region. These are challenges that APEC Member Economies agree will remain relevant to the future growth and prosperity of the region regardless of the price of oil.
The two ministerial meetings that will take place as part of the APEC Australia 2007 year will also include opportunities for business representatives to share views with ministers and other industry stakeholders.
The EWG meeting also discussed current research and the progress of APEC resources-related projects that would be discussed and reviewed by mining and energy ministers. These range from the APEC Energy Security Initiative (ESI), the identification of benchmarks and indicators to assess energy efficiency and ongoing efforts to promote trade in natural gas in the APEC region.
The first EWG meeting ever held in Russia, the meeting on Sakhalin was opened by the Vice Governor of the Sakhalin Oblast Province and included presentations from the CEOs of Sakhalin Oil and Natural Gas Project and Exxon-Mobil.
The Russian Federation is the largest oil and natural gas producer and exporter in the APEC region with the Asia-Pacific's share of Russian oil exports forecast to increase from the current 3% to 30% by 2020 - to around 100 million metric tons per year. Natural gas exports are expected to expand during the same period from 5% to at least 25% of Russia's exports to Asia-Pacific economies - to around 65 billion cubic meters.