Doha to be new hub for gas exporting countries

December 24th, 2008 - 1:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Dec 24 (RIA Novosti) The headquarters of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) will be set up in Doha, the capital of Qatar, the country’s deputy prime minister has said. The world’s leading gas exporters that gathered here for the 7th ministerial meeting Tuesday also considered St. Petersburg and Tehran before selecting Doha.

“It will be Doha,” Qatar’s Vice-Premier Abdallah bin Hamad al-Attyia said.

Russia’s Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko confirmed the decision, adding that the next GECF meeting would take place in Qatar.

He said the participants approved the charter of the organisation, but guidelines for cooperation will be specified during future meetings.

Shmatko said the parties would decide on electing the secretary general of the organisation during the next meeting.

Established in Tehran in 2001, the forum currently involves Algeria, Bolivia, Venezuela, Brunei, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Qatar, Libya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Arab Emirates and Russia.

The countries represent about 73 percent of the world’s gas reserves and 42 percent of production.

Norway holds observer status, along with Equatorial Guinea, which applied for full membership during the meeting.

Shmatko said Kazakhstan, which was a guest participant at the meeting, had been granted observer status. “We received an application from Kazakh representatives for observer status, and their request was met,” he said.

The Russian minister said the forum was open to new members, with candidates needing the votes of three-quarters of the member states to join.

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