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Posted On: 16 June 2009 09:21 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

Doha to host Gas Exporting Countries’ forum

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As many as 12 countries have confirmed participation in the eighth ministerial meeting of the Gas Exporting Countries’ Forum (GECF), which will be held in Doha on June 30. This is the third time that Qatar is hosting a GECF ministerial meeting, the first being in 2003, and the second in 2007. The forum’s general co-ordinator, Abdul Aziz A al-Malki, said the confirmed countries are Algeria, Bolivia, Iran, Libya, Nigeria, Norway (observer), Russia, Trinidad & Tobago, Venezuela, Equatorial Guinea, and the UAE (guest) besides Qatar. The GECF, a group of the world’s largest natural gas suppliers, established a charter and chose Doha as the home for its permanent secretariat in its seventh meeting in Moscow last year, signalling Qatar’s growing importance in the natural gas market. The secretary general of GECF will be elected at the forthcoming ministerial meeting. Al-Malki said that under the instructions of HE the Deputy Premier, Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah, Qatar Petroleum has formed an organising committee to prepare for the forum. In addition to the National Organising Committee, seven supporting panels have been formed “to ensure a successful meeting and maintain the positive image of Qatar as the host for major international meetings”. In 2001, major gas producers Russia, Iran and Qatar held their first meeting in Tehran to discuss the formation of the GECF, with Qatar becoming one of the founding signatories to the declaration of the forum’s establishment. Until the seventh ministerial meeting in Moscow, the forum operated without charter and fixed membership structure. The 15-member Gas Exporting Countries Forum, at their Moscow meeting in December last year adopted a charter and decided to locate the headquarters of its new secretariat in Doha. The GECF aims at enhancing co-operation amongst producing and consuming countries, the exchange of expertise in gas exploration and transportation, and to draw up frameworks for world gas markets. Since conception, GECF members have stressed that their gathering is not aimed at setting up a gas exporters’ cartel. The founders also welcome participation by consuming countries to take part in the development of the gas industry in co-operation with exporting countries