16 May 2007 - 12:14
  • News Code: 104812
Gas OPEC Not In Interests Of Producers, Say Ministers

LONDON - There is no need for an OPEC-style cartel in the gas market, said Norway"s minister for petroleum and energy Odd Roger Enoksen.

Speaking at an International Energy Agency meeting to a group of industry officials, he said the nature of the gas market requires long-term investment supported by a strong relationship between producers and clients, making it an unsuitable forum for such a cartel.

 

"I do not see an emerging gas OPEC, and I do not see the need for a gas OPEC," Enoksen said.

 

Norway is the world"s third largest gas exporter.

 

"On the other hand, an open dialogue between producers to share views about today"s gas market and future challenges should be welcomed, as is dialogue in other forums," he added.

 

IEA governing board chairman and deputy secretary of the Australian department of industry, tourism and resources John Ryan said he too saw little attraction for producers in the plan.

 

"We do not see it is in our interests to join something like an OPEC gas grouping," he said.

 

The world"s top gas producers said last month at a meeting of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum that they would create a committee led by Russia to assess the "market situation" of the industry following talks on forming an OPEC-like cartel.

 

The idea of a "gas OPEC," supported particularly by Iran, gained momentum in August last year when Europe"s two chief natural gas suppliers, Gazprom of Russia and Algeria"s Sonatrach, signed a partnership agreement.

 

It was further boosted in February when Russian President Vladimir Putin said it was "interesting." Russia"s massive gas resources account for nearly 30 pct of known world reserves and 20 pct of production.

 

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News Code 104812

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