Experts: GECF lacks opportunities to impact on gas market and its price
Azerbaijan, Baku, June 3 / Trend T.Jafarov /
Although countries of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) posses 70 percent of the world gas reserves, it would not impact on the gas price and gas market, experts say.
The forum held its 12th meeting in Egypt this week.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei voiced an initiate to create 'Gas OPEC' at a meeting with Russia's Ex-Security Council Secretary General Igor Ivanov in 2006. However, Russia, Iran, Qatar and other gas producing countries began to mull the creation of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum in 2001. The countries first met in Tehran in 2011. Following the regular meetings, the countries announced the creation of the GECF at the Tehran meeting in 2009. The forum headquarters is located in Qatar. Doha chaired the forum in 2010 and Egypt replaced it in 2011.
Iranian Professor at the University of Glasgow and Trend Expert Council member Reza Tagizadeh said although Iran and Russia put forward the initiatives of 'Gas OPEC', 'Gas Cartel' and etc., soon it become clear that it is impossible to create gas cartel in the world.
"Russia and Iran believe, by creating 'Gas OPEC' similar to 'Oil OPEC', they will be able to protect the interests of the gas producers and control the gas prices," Taghizadeh told Trend. "However, now they agreed on functioning of the GECF only as the linking organization."
The Iranian officials and media outlets still name the GECF as 'Gas OPEC'.
Tagizadeh believes that naming this organization as 'Gas OPEC', Iran wants to indicate that it is able to control the market and wants to benefit from the political significance of this issue. "Although Iran ranks the second for its gas reserves in the world, the gas produced in the country covers only the domestic gas needs and has not gas for large-scale exports," he said.
Senior fellow at Singapore Energy Studies Institute Human Peymani told Trend that gas is a regional issue and its sale mechanism is different from oil, and therefore, the GECF member countries can not influence the gas prices even if they want.
Tagizadeh believes that using 'Gas OPEC' term is a political emotion and the work that can be done by the forum member countries is to conduct discussions and share experience.
Currently Algeria, Bolivia, Iran, Qatar, Equatorial Guinea, Libya, Egypt, Nigeria, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela are members to GECF. Kazakhstan, New Zeeland and Norway have observer status at the forum.
Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela make up the eleven members of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum. GECF meeting will take place in Cairo on June 2.
Tagizadeh said that it is impossible to appoint the gas price via any organization. "The only gas that likes oil is the liquid natural gas (LNG) and the LNG is sold in different regions in different prices. On the other hand, some countries, including Qatar, have directed all their potential towards producing LNG, some countries have not opportunity to sell LNG and some countries sell their gas via pipeline and in all cases, the situation, price and market change," said Tagizadeh.
And Peymani believes that the gas production and price change upon the regional situation. Therefore, GECF only creates opportunities for coordination and discussions amongst the member countries and has not opportunity to influence the prices.
Tagizadeh said that GECF has started to get formed over the last four years and so far has not influenced the situation in the gas market, change in prices and control principles.
He said in the best way, GECF can play a role as an international energy organization, where oil consuming and producing countries come together and share information or declare their joint interests. GECF can play this role in the gas sphere.