The 22nd Ministerial Meeting of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) was virtually held last Thursday to assess the current dynamics shaping the global gas market.
Chaired by Algeria’s Minister of Energy H.E. Abdelmadjid Attar, the meeting was attended by energy ministers and leaders from member countries of Algeria, Bolivia, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela, as well as Angola, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Malaysia and Norway as observer countries.
In his opening speech, H.E. Attar spoke about recent developments in the gas industry – which include COVID-19, low commodity prices and a temporary gas market glut – and the role of the GECF in expanding cross-border gas cooperation to foster growth. Algeria in particular is set to see $20 billion in gas investment in the next years.
The meeting also noted the resilience of member countries in their efforts to ensure the continued operation of free and flexible gas markets in the face of reduced gas revenues and less than favorable market conditions. Sustainable development in regard to the environment was also identified as a key factor in projected gas demand growth.
“We need to ensure that the pandemic will not hinder progress,” noted H.E. Minister Attar. “I wish to encourage the gas industry to strengthen its efforts in dealing with the issue of methane emission. This is important for natural gas to play a more important role in the energy transition that the world has engaged in.”
Meanwhile, Secretary General of the GECF H.E. Yury Sentyurin presented the Secretariat’s Management Report, highlighting the various activities undertaken in 2020 to achieve the vision set out in the Malabo Declaration of 2019, the Statute of the Forum, its Long-Term Strategy, the Five-Year Working Plan and the Work Programs of 2019 and 2020.
“GECF members are committed to strengthening global energy security as reliable suppliers of natural gas in order to meet the world’s growing energy demand,” said. H.E. Sentyurin. “They showcased remarkable determination in their fulfillment of all contractual obligations to the customers. This indicates confidence in the strength of their economies and abilities to absorb major economic crises, notwithstanding numerous challenges and decline in revenues.”