Report: Russia could head new Mideast gas cartel
SPECIAL TO WORLD TRIBUNE.COM
Friday, April 6, 2007
Copyright © 2007 East West
WASHINGTON — Russia and Middle East countries could decide to form a
gas cartel a new report warns.
Algeria, Iran, Qatar and Russia have scheduled a meeting of the
15-member Gas-Exporting Countries Forum in Doha on April 9, Middle East Newsline reported.
analysts said the session could result in a decision to form a cartel that
would control gas supplies to the West.
Russian officials said Moscow had no plans to establish a cartel.
"If created, such an organization would be dominated by Russia, which is
the world's largest reserve holder, producer, exporter, and transiter of
gas," the Washington-based Jamestown Foundation said in a report.
"As a 'new
Saudi Arabia of gas,' Russia could shape a gas cartel's behavior to an
extent similar to Saudi Arabia's dominant role in OPEC, though with
The foundation said any gas cartel would not have the same influence
over prices as OPEC. Jamestown pointed out that gas supply contracts have
usually been long-term.
Russia's Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko said Russia will not sign an accord creating a pricing cartel or "gas OPEC," Bloomberg News reported Friday.