10 May 2007 - 18:39
  • News Code: 104281
Iran an Influential Gas Exporting Country

TEHRAN -- Iran is one of the influential members of the world"s gas exporting countries due to its huge gas reserves, remarkable production and gas export plans, said a senior official at Iran"s Ministry of Oil on Wednesday.

The oil minister"s top advisor, Hossein Kazempour-Ardebili told Irna that Iran would be one of the major players at the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) if it managed to form an OPEC-like organization for gas in the future.

The idea of creating the gas forum was first revealed in January when Iran"s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei proposed Iran and Russia to create a gas organization.

Noting that Russia would host the GECF"s next meeting, the top advisor said that using different views of domestic and foreign experts at Iran"s Oil Ministry, Tehran was preparing a set of proposals on formation of the gas forum to offer them during the next meeting in Russia.

Kazempour-Ardebili, also Iran"s OPEC governor, said that natural gas is a growing market with increasing demands which needs further investments both by consumers and suppliers.

Minister of Petroleum Seyed Kazem Vaziri-Hamaneh elaborated on the outcomes of the sixth session of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) ended in the Qatari capital Doha last month.

The minister said the forum was formed after Iran’s proposal in 2001 and Tehran played host to the first session. He added the sixth meeting was postponed twice and was held in the presence of 14 states in Doha this week, out of which 12 were represented by ministers, turning it to one of the highest ranking sessions held so far.

Vaziri-Hamaneh said Russia welcomed the session and was named the head of a committee to study the articles of association of the forum and the host to the seventh GECF.

“After Iran’s Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei) introduced the initiative of the setup of gas exporting states body like OPEC, Russia’s interest grew and other gas exporting countries got involved,” he recalled.

“During the meeting, I mentioned to the organizational shortcomings and inactivity of the forum in the past five years and assured that there would be no room for serious measures unless the official articles of association of the forum is outlined.”

The forum, due to lack of articles of association, had moved at a snail’s pace, said the minister, adding the Supreme Leader’s idea was a turning point in the history of the forum.

After Iran’s proposal, he said, the participants agreed to form a committee comprising deputy ministers and experts in a bid to study the articles of association and financial regulations and to offer their report in the next session in Moscow.

“The 14 member states of GECF hold about 73 percent of the world’s gas reserves, produce 62 percent, and account for 42 percent of the world’s out and exports respectively.”

Shifting to the strong opposition of the United States, Japan, and some consumer countries to the creation of a gas exporting states organization and their concern about the formation of a gas cartel, the minister said, “The Gas Exporting Countries Forum is not a threat to consumers and those who use gas OPEC or cartel are seeking political objectives as even OPEC is not a cartel and its member states adopting policies are meeting the world’s oil need and do not set a price and are not against consumer states.”

Recalling the 11 goals of the document signed in the first GECF session in Tehran, he said they included the gas development projects, supply-demand balance, structures of regional gas market, exports through pipeline and LNG shipping, transformation of gas to oil products or GTL and compressed natural gas (CNG) for vehicles, replacement of fossil fuels with gas, and observation of Kyoto Protocol and its effects on gas consumption.

 

News Code 104281

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