The Conference focused on the following central question:
– How can the Black Sea region’s full energy potential be achieved given the substantial barriers that have impeded energy projects over recent decades?
This important issue was addressed in the keynote speeches delivered by the Minister of Fuel and Energy of Ukraine Yuriy Boyko, the EU Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger, the Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism of Bulgaria Traycho Traykov, the Minister of Energy of Georgia Aleksandre Khetaguri, and the Deputy Undersecretary of the Turkish Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources Selahattin Çimen.
This highly successful event brought together over 120 participants from various countries and international organizations. Senior figures from government, industry, international bodies and non-governmental organizations presented their views on the key issues that lie before the Black Sea states and the international community in the promotion of energy security and investment in the energy sector.
Comment of Wolfram Rehbock:
The conference brought a wide range of visions about the role of the region together, but was not able to bridge the gap between theory and practical steps and realization or at least concrete proposals for solutions.
The Minister for Energy Mr. Boyko stressed that the Odessa Region plays a key role when it comes to increase in gas exploration in Ukraine what is a substantial part of the energy strategy of Ukraine. Unfortunately he did not even mention the word energy efficiency (that is the lowest hanging fruit for energy security Ukraine can realize on its own).
The EU Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger in his excellent speech clearly stated that East Europe is a strategic and important partner for the EU concerning energy supply and energy security since as for now 50 % of energy sources are imported by the EU member states and this figure will significantly increase the coming decades. He mentioned that the infrastructure for transport of energy lags behind the infrastructure for other goods. Therefore the energy security much depends on the transport capacities.
Ukraine as soon as possible should become a reliable partner since investments into grids and pipelines are made/calculated for 30-40 or more years. In order to attract investments in the gas sector Ukraine did a first step with the adoption of the law “On principles of functioning of the gas market”.