Gas summit starts with call for fair price
DOHA - Agence France-Presse
The 12-member Gas Exporting Countries Forum was held in Qatar. AFP photo
Leaders of the world’s biggest gas suppliers opened their first summit in the Qatari capital yesterday by calling for a fair gas price while Iran, whose president was absent from the ceremony, warned that Western taxation will derail the energy market.
“There is an urgent need to achieve stability to the natural gas (industry) ... which does not have a fair price yet,” said Egyptian Petroleum Minister Abdullah Ghorab, as he spoke at the opening session of the first summit of the 12-member Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF).
Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and the leader of Libya’s National Transitional Council, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, were among those attending the one-day event.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who had been expected to represent the Islamic republic “wanted to be here but could not come,” his representative, Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi told the summit.
In his speech, Qasemi blasted taxes against energy exports by Western consumers. Any taxation by consumer countries “will derail the energy market,” he warned, adding that the falling dollar has “negatively affected the world economy.”
The summit was opened by Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani who called for “innovative solutions” to the challenges facing the gas industry for the benefit of both consumers and producers.
The event aims to discuss “the priority of long-term contracts as the basis of security for exporters and consumers of natural gas.” It also seeks ways to establish a fair price for gas under a gas-to-oil indexation, with the aim of overcoming the disparity between crude oil and gas prices.