Gas producers plan closer cooperation at Qatar gathering

Feb 04, 2003 01:00 AM

Ministers and senior officials from 15 gas producing countries agreed to tighten their technical cooperation and to consider a closer study of Asian gas market developments. Delegates to the third ministerial meeting of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum agreed that Qatar, their current chairman, would oversee the implementation of projects and studies planned by the forum.
The conference in addition backed the preparation of a universal supply and demand model for gas and discussed the possibility of holding a "roundtable" devoted to the Asian gas market.

Opening the gathering, the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, described the forum as "a platform for consultation and cooperation among the producing countries." He said the participating members had gas reserves amounting to more than two thirds of the world's total.
Sheikh Hamad also criticized what he described as "new governmental and regional procedures in consumer countries that interfere with business terms and conditions of contracts on gas purchase... and distribution." Such practices, he added, "threaten the legitimacy of long-term contracts."

The 15 producers represented were Algeria, Brunei, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Libya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Oman, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Arab Emirates, Venezuela and Qatar. Norway attended as an observer.
The forum's fourth ministerial meeting is scheduled next year in Cairo.

Source: AFP
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