After the successful jubilee 35th edition of the International Scientific & Expert Meeting of Gas Professionals, which was held virtually last year, the leading international gas conference and exhibition in SE Europe returns to its traditional location in Kvarner – Opatija. Opatija has always been an elite center of the biggest business events: for more than 150 years it has been satisfying the needs of even the most demanding business gatherings and their participants. Gas professionals and Opatija have developed a great likeness for each other throughout 35 years, so we look forward to returning while ensuring strict compliance with epidemiological measures to protect the health of all participants. We believe that 2021 will be a better year because the health management of the pandemic will become more effective and economies will recover.

The 36th International Scientific & Expert Meeting of Gas Professionals will be held from 16th to 18th of June, 2021 at the Congress Center of the Grand Hotel Adriatic in Opatija. During the three days of the event, the participation of numerous gas and energy experts, 60 distinguished lecturers and a significant number of exhibitors from more than 20 countries in Europe and the world is expected. This influential meeting of gas professionals, organized by the Croatian Gas Association, a member of IGU, and Croatian Gas Center Ltd., will cover 10 current thematic units, several interactive panel discussions and a poster session on the topics which extend the entire natural gas chain, application of new technologies, as well as the crucial challenges which will determine the development of the natural gas market in the near future.

The gas industry has an important positive role to play in the global energy markets, as well as in the energy transition, so the aim of this conference is to ensure understanding and acceptance of the key role of gas and the gas industry in the low-carbon future. We are pleased to announce an invited lecture by Mr. Andrea Stegher, Senior Vice President of the Energy Transition Business Unit of the Italian company – Snam and future President of the International Gas Union (IGU) in the mandate from 2025 to 2028 and the current Vice President of IGU (from 2021 to 2025), who will present the future of gas and gas infrastructure with reference to the European Union.

Ariel Cohen, PhD, Senior Fellow of the Atlantic Council and Director of the ITIC (International Tax and Investment Center) Energy, Growth and Security Program and founder and CEO of International Market Analysis Ltd., will hold an invited lecture on the topic of stopping drilling on the US federal land, which will significantly reduce the amount of gas produced in the United States. Ariel Cohen, PhD, will try to answer questions whether this is the end of shale gas, what the consequences of this regulation for the North American, global and European gas industry could be and how it will affect gas prices both globally and in Europe.

There will also be some interesting lectures on the impact of the EU Methane Strategy on the natural gas sector, the future role of renewable gases and the readiness of existing gas systems for new gases. An important part of the upcoming conference will consist of presentations of several professional papers on the regulatory framework for gas exploration and production and new projects and incentives for investment in natural gas exploration and production.

The third thematic unit will focus on the current state and future course of development of strategic gas infrastructure in Europe such as the Trans-Adriatic pipeline, the Ionian-Adriatic pipeline, the newly built LNG terminal on the island of Krk and the Zlobin-Omisalj evacuation gas pipeline, thus giving Croatia a new, diversified supply route that provides energy stability and security of gas supply. The last-year construction of a compressor station enabled a bi-directional gas flow between Croatia and Hungary, and with the reconstruction of the Rogatec-Zabok pipeline between Croatia and Slovenia, all the conditions for the transmission of gas from LNG terminals to Central and Southeast European countries were met. Thus, the Croatian gas transport system is integrated into European gas flows. The LNG terminal and the Zlobin-Omisalj evacuation pipeline are the most complex facilities of the gas transport system, the implementation of which has successfully been completed despite the challenges caused by the pandemic. Within the fifth thematic unit, the development potentials of LNG terminals and their role in the future European gas infrastructure will be presented.

In many interesting lectures the application of smart technologies in the gas and energy systems, innovations and transfer technologies and their role in the gas industry will be presented. There will also be several lectures and panel discussions on the current situation and trends on the natural gas market and future expectations. The development of sustainable transport powered by CNG, LNG and LPG will also be discussed at the conference. Within the eighth thematic unit, participants will gain an insight into the current status and potential development of the biogas use in the energy, agricultural and transport sectors. Numerous domestic and foreign experts will present papers on issues related to transport, distribution, storage and consumption in terms of efficiency and safety of the gas system. The upcoming event will also include innovations in legislation, technical regulations and rules of the profession for a safe and efficient use of gas and how they are applied in practice. Due to the great interest of energy entities, as a part of the conference program, a poster session will also be held this year, where the papers of numerous experts from various fields of the gas and energy industry will be presented.

Along with the conference, an exhibition of gas equipment and technology will be held, where a respectable number of exhibitors from Croatia and abroad will present advanced technical solutions for the gas and energy industry. The sponsorship of the event provides companies with a unique opportunity to strengthen their position, demonstrate their expertise and new technical solutions for overcoming the challenges of the gas industry.

Targeted thematic units and distinguished speakers
are the main features of the conference that brings together science, education, profession and businesses that actively participate in the gas industry. The event mobile app will be available before the opening of the meeting and social events in Opatija will ensure enough time for interactive networking and creating new business opportunities.