'Trade wars' are not good for energy security, Russia's energy minister warns

  • Rising trade tensions and "protectionism" in trade policies are a risk for the global energy outlook, Russia's energy minister said.
  • "Lately we've seen that highly competitive markets are demonstrating certain so-called trade wars," Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Wednesday as he participated in a CNBC-moderated panel on the global gas market in Moscow.
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak (C) speaks next to Mohammed bin Saleh al-Sada (R), President of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) during a press conference at the 23rd World Energy Congress on October 12, 2016 in Istanbul.
Ozan Kose | AFP | Getty Images
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak (C) speaks next to Mohammed bin Saleh al-Sada (R), President of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) during a press conference at the 23rd World Energy Congress on October 12, 2016 in Istanbul.

Rising trade tensions and "protectionism" in trade policies are a risk for the global energy outlook, Russia's energy minister said.

"Lately we've seen that highly competitive markets are demonstrating certain so-called trade wars," Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Wednesday as he participated in a CNBC-moderated panel on the global gas market in Moscow.

"We see the measures of protectionism being used and certainly all of it creates the risks of uncertainty generally, not just for the gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG) market but generally risks to the energy security and energy efficiency and supplies of energy fuel to consumers."

Novak was speaking at a CNBC-moderated panel on the global gas market at Russia Energy Week event in Moscow. His comments come as trade tensions between the U.S. and China hit an all-time high, with both superpowers levying billions of dollars' worth of tariffs on each other's imports in what has been described as a "trade war."

He told the audience, and fellow panel members including Qatar's energy minister and Gazprom's deputy chairman, that gas consumption was set to rise.

"According to expert assessments, the general consumption of energy in the world, by 2040, will increase by a further 30 percent, compared to the current level," he said, calling the increase "a huge figure that will definitely require different sources of energy."

Gas will have one of the leading roles together in this general increase of consumption, as well as "the growth in use of renewable resources."

He said the share of gas as part of the wider energy mix will increase from 23 to 26 percent. LNG is a form of the fuel super-chilled to liquid so it can be shipped more easily and safely.