Heads of State to Attend GECF

Heads of State to Attend GECFHeads of State to Attend GECF

Iran will host nine heads of state during the Third Summit of Gas Exporting Countries Forum which will be held in Tehran next week, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh told a news conference on Tuesday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Iraqi, Turkmen and Bolivian counterparts have so far confirmed they will attend the summit. Russia's TASS news agency said last week Putin will meet President Hassan Rouhani in his one-day visit to Tehran on Monday.

"Gas and Sustainable Development" is the theme of the summit that will bring together some of the biggest players in the gas industry, ISNA reported. Zanganeh said the prospect of oil and gas swap agreements with Russia, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan will also be discussed during the summit.

"Iran's natural gas exports and imports are almost level and the government is keen to maintain gas trade with neighboring producers such as Turkmenistan” and sell Iranian goods and services, he added. Zanganeh said neighboring countries  prefer  Iran's natural gas and Tehran is also interested in supplying gas to the Iraqi Kurdistan, Afghanistan and Persian Gulf Arab states.

"The Islamic Republic is planning to export liquefied natural gas to Asian markets first and later to EU member states," he said.

GECF, established in Tehran in 2001, is an intergovernmental organization of 11 of the world's leading natural gas producers, namely Algeria, Bolivia, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela. Iraq, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Norway, Oman and Peru have the status of observer members.

GECF members together control over 70% of the world's natural gas reserves, 38% of the pipeline trade and 85% of the LNG production. The three largest reserve-holders in the GECF—Iran, Russia and Qatar—together hold about 57% of global gas reserves.