The Moscow Times » Issue 4015 » Frontpage Top
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Vahid Salemi / AP Miller, right, talking with al-Attiyah as Nozari looks on. The three discussed the formation of a ‘gas OPEC‘ on Tuesday.
Gazprom, Iran, Qatar in ‘Gas Troika’
22 October 2008By Parisa Habezi / ReutersTEHRAN, Iran — World gas powers Russia, Iran and Qatar moved on Tuesday to strengthen cooperation, and Tehran said there was consensus to set up an OPEC-style group, which is likely to worry Western consumers.
Gazprom said it had agreed with Iran and Qatar to form a “big gas troika” and that it should become a permanent body holding regular meetings.
But unlike Iranian Oil Minister Gholamhossein Nozari, Gazprom chiefdid not refer to the establishment of a “gas OPEC” after talks with Nozari and Qatar’s Energy Minister Abdullah al-Attiyah in Tehran.
“There is a demand to form this gas OPEC, and there is a consensus to set up a gas OPEC,” Nozari told a joint news conference after talks with Miller and Attiyah.
Europe and the United States have warned against such a body, saying it could pose a danger to global energy security and create room for price manipulation.
Russia, Iran and Qatar are ranked the first-, second- and third-biggest holders of natural gas reserves and together boast more than half of the global total.
“We have agreed to hold regular — three or four times per year — meetings of the ‘big gas troika’ to discuss key issues of gas market developments,” Miller said in a statement.
“We have a common vision of the goals of the forum and the need to transform it into a permanent organization as quickly as possible to serve the goals of stable and reliable energy supplies in the world,” the statement said.