Singapore joins IEA as SE Asia oil demand set to rise 80% by 2040
A worker prepares to transport oil pipelines to be laid for the Pengerang Gas Pipeline Project at an area 40km (24 miles) away from the Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex in Pengerang, Johor, February 4, 2015. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo

Singapore joined the International Energy Agency (IEA) as an association country, trade and industry ministry S. Iswaran said. The island state, which is the Southeast Asian hub of the oil trade, is the fourth country to join the influential agency as an association country after China, Indonesia and Thailand.

"Singapore supports the IEA's vision to expand its outreach to emerging economies through the Association initiative," S. Iswaran said in comments made at Singapore International Energy Week (SIEW).

Singapore has key strategic importance in the energy sector as energy demand in the region is expected to rise by 80 percent in the next 20 odd years, driven by robust population growth and economic expansion.

Iswaran said in the statement that the inclusion of Singapore in the IEA also marks the rising importance of Asia in the global economy and energy landscape. "Singapore fully supports the IEA's new vision to expand its outreach to emerging economies, particularly in Asia, the minister said.

The IEA, an autonomous group set up in 1974, is made up of 29 member countries which are net oil importers and have committed to a demand-restraint programme for reducing national oil consumption by up to 10%.

"We are going to create different programs and activities with Singapore in order to make the decision makers in this region understand the benefits of using energy more efficiently and the opportunities that renewable energies are creating across the world," said Fatih Birol, executive director of the IEA.

Full membership

The International Energy Agency's objective is to ensure reliable, affordable and clean energy and help member countries handle disruptions in oil supply.

Singapore is the fourth country to join the IEA under the association country initiative after China, Indonesia and Thailand last November.

As an Association country, Singapore will work with the IEA on a broad range of energy security issues. To become a full member, countries should be net oil importers with a crude reserve that is equivalent to around 90 days of the previous years' average net oil imports.

IEA members should also have put in place a plan for the reduction in national oil consumption by up to 10 per cent.