ALGIERS, June 16 (Reuters) - Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom GAZP.MM is not interested in a gas exporters forum becoming an OPEC-like group, because international dialogue about gas already exists, a Gazprom official was quoted as saying on Monday.
Some gas exporting countries are exploring the idea of turning an informal club of major gas exporting nations known as the Gas Exporting Countries Forum into a more formal organisation with an OPEC-like charter.
The United States and the European Union have repeatedly warned that turning the forum into an OPEC-style gas group would pose a serious danger to global energy security and create room for price manipulation.
Gazprom Deputy Chief Executive Alexander Medvedev said on a visit to Algeria that Gazprom “does not see an interest in such an organisation in either the medium or long term because the gas market is totally different from that of oil”, Algerian state news agency APS reported.
Nevertheless, he added, “Gazprom is for the pursuit of dialogue which already exists in the framework of the gas forum which gathers together the most important gas exporters”, APS reported.
To date, there is no consensus about the idea, especially since gas is sold on long term contracts rather than the spot system by which much crude oil is traded.
Russia, the world’s largest gas exporter, as well as other members of the club, such as Iran, Qatar, Venezuela, Nigeria and Algeria, have said the gas forum aims at increasing cooperation between key producers so they better understand market needs.
Medvedev, in Algeria to preside at the opening of a Gazprom office in the north African country [nL16507818], said Gazprom aimed to cooperate with Algerian state energy company Sonatrach in gas ventures not only in Algeria but elsewhere in Africa. (For full Reuters Africa coverage and to have your say on the top issues, visit: africa.reuters.com/ ) (Writing by William Maclean, editing by William Hardy)
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