TEHRAN, (Reuters) - Iran, hosting the first ever gas exporting countries' forum, said on Saturday, May 19, the gathering was not aimed at setting up a gas exporters' cartel. Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh told reporters just before the two-day meeting began in Tehran that the big gas exporting countries would exchange views on a number of gas issues.
Energy ministers from Algeria, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Qatar, Russia and Turkmenistan were expected to attend the meeting. "This is no cartel whatsoever. There will be no quotas discussed," said Zanganeh, whose country holds the world's second largest natural gas reserves after Russia.
"There is no such thing as a gas cartel, I deny that very strongly...This is just a brainstorming session to bring views from all gas exporting countries," he added. Zanganeh said the meeting aimed to exchange views about upstream development, technical issues, pipeline issues and attending important gas industry events.
Another goal, he said, was to "commercialise gas exporting projects as a group". "We would like to play an active role in this regard to supply gas in an efficient and responsible fashion to consumers," Zanganeh said.
He welcomed participation by consuming countries as well, but said they were not taking part at this meeting. The group is to meet once a year on the ministerial level and twice a year at senior expert level.
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)