Iran's OPEC Governor to Attend Gas Meeting

Iran's OPEC Governor to Attend  Gas MeetingIran's OPEC Governor to Attend  Gas Meeting

The 18th ministerial meeting of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) will be held in Doha, Qatar on Thursday.

According to the semi-official Mehr News Agency, Hussein Kazempour Ardabili, Iran's governor in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, will attend the talks in the absence of Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, Mehr News Agency reported.

Established in Tehran in 2001, GECF is an intergovernmental organization of 12 of the world's leading natural gas producers, namely Algeria, Bolivia, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela and the UAE.

Iraq, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Norway, Oman and Peru have observer status.

It is not the first time that Zanganeh snubs an energy meeting at the ministerial level this year.

OPEC members got together in Doha in April in an emergency meeting to discuss freezing or cutting production to alleviate the global oil glut and sliding prices. But Zanganeh refused to attend as Tehran sought exemption from any freeze and add more barrels to its daily output that had plunged to unprecedented lows due to the international sanctions.

Tehran hosted the Third GECF Summit in November last year in what was perceived as a strong statement of its intention to again become a key player in the global energy market. That event brought together the heads of state and governments from nine countries, including Russia, Bolivia, Iraq, Turkmenistan, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria and Venezuela.

According to reports, GECF members are expected to discuss the global gas market and developments in the production of liquefied gases, namely LNG and LPG.

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.

Unlike the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries that regulates global crude prices, the GECF serves as a policymaking platform and does not decide on natural gas prices.


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