Monday, December 29, 2008
Gas exporters' forum not aiming to become cartel - Gazprom
MOSCOW, December 23, 2008 (RIA Novosti) - The Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) has no intention of becoming a gas cartel similar to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), a Gazprom senior executive said on Tuesday. The GECF, which was established in Tehran in 2001 and includes Russia, Iran and other leading gas exporters accounting for about 73% of the world's gas reserves and 42% of production, is holding its seventh ministerial meeting in Moscow on Tuesday. Alexander Medvedev, first deputy chairman of the Gazprom management committee, said that there was no direct relationship between gas prices and membership to the gas producers' forum. The GECF has yet to adopt a charter and lacks a formal membership structure. The headquarters of the world's leading gas exporters could be based in St. Petersburg, Doha or Tehran, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin said. "Tehran and Doha are being considered as options for the headquarters. We have proposed St. Petersburg. This is the best proposal which we could have made but the decision depends on everyone," Sechin said. Meanwhile, Qatari Vice-Premier Abdallah bin Hamad al-Attyia said there were no plans to discuss a new gas pricing formula at the Moscow forum. "Gas prices depend on oil and we will not be discussing the creation of a new [gas] price formula," he said.