- Title: ALGERIA: Gas forum looks to boost falling prices
- Date: 20th April 2010
- Summary: ORAN, ALGERIA (APRIL 19, 2010) (REUTERS) ENERGY MINISTERS ATTENDING GAS CONFERENCE RUSSIA ENERGY MINISTER SERGEI IVANOVICH SHMATKO TALKING TO HIS QATARI COUNTERPART, ABDULLAH AL-ATTIYAH VARIOUS OF ALGERIAN ENERGY AND MINES MINISTER, CHAKIB KHELIL SEATED ON STAGE GECF SECRETARY-GENERAL, LEONID VITALYEVICH BOKHANOVSKY VARIOUS OF AUDIENCE. ALGERIAN ENERGY AND MINES MINISTER CHAKIB KHELIL HEADING TO PODIUM TO DELIVER HIS SPEECH JOURNALIST WRITING (SOUNDBITE) (English) ALGERIAN ENERGY AND MINES MINISTER, CHAKIB KHELIL SAYING: "Our forum constitutes today in view of the quality and diversity of its member countries, not only a unique place for discussions and exchanges of views, but also space to build a durable, solid relations, and a framework for decision-making to meet our common objectives of adequate market supply and stability of our gas revenues." ALGERIAN ENERGY AND MINES MINISTER CHAKIB KHELIL FINISHED HIS SPEECH THE MEMBERS LEAVING THE CONFERENCE HALL
- Embargoed: 5th May 2010 13:00
- Location: Algeria
- Country: Algeria
- Topics: Economic News,Energy
- Reuters ID: LVA4HCL3A89Z8JITE70GOJ1TT1TL
- Story Text: Many of the world's biggest gas exporters gathered in Algeria on Monday (April 19) in search of a plan to boost gas prices without causing further pain for any members of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF).
Energy ministers from Europe's three biggest external gas suppliers -- Russia, Algeria and Qatar -- hope the diverse group of gas exporters can find a mutually beneficial way to stem a flood of gas that has slashed their profits for over a year.
But what the countries currently competing to sell fuel into a saturated market, largely because of a surge in alternative gas production in North America, can agree to remains vague ahead of the ministerial meeting in the Algerian port of Oran.
Opening the conference, Algerian Energy Minister Chakib Khelil said:
"Our forum constitutes today in view of the quality and diversity of its member countries, not only a unique place for discussions and exchanges of views, but also space to build a durable, solid relations, and a framework for decision-making to meet our common objectives of adequate market supply and stability of our gas revenues."
The GECF members account for about 70 percent of the world's conventional gas reserves but are suffering in a global market where demand for their product has been dampened by slow economic growth and an unexpected surge in alternative gas supplies in former imported gas guzzler the United States.
"The forecast for the next five years is rather worrying as it displays only weak growth that will bring the demand level in 2013 back to 2008," Khelil, whose country supplies about 20 percent of Europe's gas, said on Monday.
Algeria said earlier this year the forum's member countries should agree coordinated cuts in spot market supplies in a bid to reverse the slump in gas prices in Europe in particular.
"A new model of cooperation is to be devised, beneficial to all. I think we should work towards a stable international gas trade through efficient use of world energy resources," Khelil told reporters before the meeting.
The forum has been dismissed by many energy analysts as a talking shop that cannot hope to emulate the power of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
It has made no attempt to coordinate supply policy before and the gas market is seen as harder to manage because most natural gas is delivered under long-term contracts, therefore producers do not have the flexibility to influence prices by adjusting output.
As the U.S. market has lost some of its appetite for imported LNG, tanker gas suppliers like Qatar and Trinidad and Equatorial Guinea -- all GECF members -- have been forced to look for other markets for some of their cargoes, which have often ended up in Europe, driving down prices and hitting Algerian and Russian pipeline sales.
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