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    Oil, Gas Exporters' Groups to Share Ideas


The two organisations can learn from each other, even if oil and gas markets are still dissimilar.

by: William Powell

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Oil, Gas Exporters' Groups to Share Ideas

The heads of Opec and the Gas Exporting Countries Forum have signed an MoU on co-operation in research and the sharing of experiences, views, information and best practices in areas of mutual interest. Oil and gas producers are both looking at a low-price future.

Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo and Yury Sentyurin signed the MoU in Moscow October 3 on the sidelines of Russian Energy Week.

Areas of co-operation identified in the MoU include energy market analysis and short to long term forecasting and modelling.

Opec and GECF also agree to co-operate, where possible and appropriate, on the exchange of information and data; hold expert meetings and internal bilateral workshops to promote the exchange of knowledge and experiences; and co-operate on seminars, workshops, conferences and publications.

The two heads met in February at the ninth IEA-IEF-Opec Symposium on Energy Outlooks at the International Energy Forum (IEF) Secretariat in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

There, they "recognised the numerous areas of mutual interest to both organisations, including the fact that they have many member countries in common." Algeria, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Libya, Nigeria, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela are members of both organisations. Opec members Angola and Iraq are also GECF observers.

Opec was created in 1960 and GECF in 2001. Opec members account for 30% of world oil output in July, its lowest share ever, according to Reuters. They have agreed to continue to keep a lid on output, with support also from Russia, until at least next year to try to support oil prices.

Among the notable absentees from GECF are major producers and exporters from the OECD: Norway, Australia and the US. This, and the continuing existence of long-term firm supply contracts for gas that are priced against Brent crude, limit GECF's ability to reduce output to shore up prices.