UNUnited Nations Economic Commission for Europe


Working Party on Gas
Programme of Work, 2003-2006


The programme of work of the Working Party on Gas includes the following four elements:


I. Economic Reforms and Restructuring in Central and Eastern Europe and their Implications and Significance for Gas Markets and the Gas Industry in the ECE Region

  • Description: Problems and issues associated with the creation of, transition to, and operation of a market-oriented gas industry and gas enterprises, institutional factors, promotion of investment opportunities and adjustment to economic and social needs.
  • Work to be undertaken: Exchange of information and experience, improvement of contacts and exchange of technical and economic knowledge, preparation of reports and studies on specific issues, promoting and strengthening of cooperation with other international governmental and non-governmental organizations, holding of workshops, seminars, informal meetings, etc. Specific subjects for workshops or informal meetings may focus on market instruments of market-oriented gas industries; and basic principles of transition to market-oriented economies.

A. Promotion and development of a market-based gas industry in economies in transition (1994-2006)

  • Description: Exchange of knowledge, experience and information on a systematic, cooperative and coordinated basis between gas industries and Governments on market-based policies, regulatory framework, instruments and principles in the gas industry. Exchange of information, views and experience on the development, application and adaptation of gas pricing principles and practices in a market-oriented gas industry, including factors related to market adaptation of gas enterprises. Study of latest developments in gas industries, such as liberalization and privatization.
  • Work to be undertaken: A detailed programme of work is approved by the Executive Board of the Gas Centre at its annual meetings.

II. Developments in the Gas Industry, including Trade and Interconnections/Extension of Gas Networks This element of the programme of work of the Working Party on Gas includes the following items:

A. Future role of gas (natural gas and liquid petroleum gas (LPG)) in meeting energy requirements (continuing)

  • Description: Periodic examination of problems associated with gas (natural and LPG) markets, their development and supply prospects, the future role of gas in meeting the energy requirements of the ECE region, including national policies affecting energy and gas in particular, and fuel substitution. Identification of specific issues for intergovernmental cooperation.
  • Work to be undertaken: Quantitative analysis and assessment of gas supply and demand; identification of issues for intergovernmental cooperation, consideration of problems relating to the following: prospects of gas industry growth and adjustments to market conditions and fuel competition, the position of gas versus other forms of energy in the overall energy balance and evaluation and assessment of fuel competition. Periodic organization of symposia, seminars, informal meetings and workshops on the subject.

B. Developments in gas availabilities and consumption (continuing)

  • Description: Consideration of the gas situation in the ECE region and its prospects. Exchange of views on annual developments of gas markets, factors affecting gas marketing availability of indigenous supplies, forecast of gas demand and other points of interest.
  • Work to be undertaken: At its annual sessions, the Working Party on Gas considers the information provided by Governments and reviews the gas situation and gas markets in the ECE region, including reports of interest by other governmental and non-governmental organizations.

C. Use of gaseous fuels for motor vehicles (continuing)

  • Description: To study various aspects related to the use of CNG, LPG and LNG for transportation.
  • Work to be undertaken: Assessment of the viability of the "Blue Corridor" project, aimed at construction in Europe of transboundary motor vehicle corridors adapted for the use of gasesous fuels. At the annual sessions of the Working Party to have in-depth discussion of the topic, together with representatives of other international organizations working in this domain.

D. Natural gas and environment (continuing)

  • Description: To study various aspects of the interrelationship between natural gas and environment.
  • Work to be undertaken: Consideration of this topic at the annual sessions of the Working Party.

III. Assessment of Natural Gas Resources, including Geological and Geophysical Methods of Prospecting for Natural Gas (continuing)

  • Description: Assessment and evaluation of natural gas resources, reserves and production.
  • Work to be undertaken: To consider, at the annual sessions of the Working Party on Gas, various topics related to the prospecting, exploration and production of natural gas. Exchange of views, experience and other relevant information. To include in the agenda of the fourteenth session of the Working Party on Gas a topic on "Natural Gas - Reserves, Resources and Exploration and Development Prospects in the ECE Region", for in-depth consideration.

IV. Gas Transportation Systems, Storage and Rational Use of Gas (continuing)
(To be implemented by the Ad Hoc Group of Experts on the Supply and Use of Gas).