Gas exporting countries agree to adopt OPEC’s oil ‘model’ to grow global gas trade

Oredola Adeola

The Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) and Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in a joint communique released on Monday agree to implement oil industry ‘solutions’ including a transparent use of data and the exchange of best-practices to address  underinvestment and other key issues affecting their interests and activities in global oil trade.

This was the major highlight of the third High-Level Meeting of the OPEC-GECF Energy Dialogue, on 10 October 2022, at the OPEC Secretariat in Vienna, Austria.

EnergyDay’s check showed that GECF member countries are  Algeria, Bolivia, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, while Venezuela. Iraq, Malaysia, Mozambique, Norway, and the UAE joined as Observers.

The Monday meeting was co-chaired by His Excellency(HE) Haitham Al Ghais, OPEC Secretary General and HE Eng. Mohamed Hamel, GECF Secretary General.
The meeting also noted the progress that has been achieved since the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between OPEC and the GECF in October 2019.
It was established that since 2019, the two organizations have intensified cooperation across a range of areas over the last three years, for example, both organizations now contribute to each other’s flagship publications — the World Oil Outlook (WOO) and Global Gas Outlook (GGO)— on a reciprocal basis.
Al Ghais,  OPEC Secretary General, in his opening address said, “Our cooperation with the GECF is an utmost priority for OPEC. It is consistent with the ethos of all our energy dialogues, as all parties benefit from constructive dialogue, open and transparent use of data and the exchange of best-practices.

He added that meeting the world’s growing demand for energy; correcting public misperceptions about the oil and gas industry; reducing energy poverty: none of these issues can be tackled by any one organization acting on its own. They require cooperation, openness and dialogue.”

Eng. Hamel GECF Secretary General on his part, said that one of the key issues for the global oil and gas industry remains the underinvestment, which started in 2015. He added that both organizations also share a lot of ground on the environmental agenda.
The GECF SG further  emphasized that the oil and gas industry has an important role to play in a just and inclusive energy transition and support the need to reduce emissions, bolster efficiency and embrace innovation. Events in 2022 have underscored the importance of ensuring that there is an investment friendly climate for the industry.
The meeting also highlighted the importance of data and knowledge exchange, which contributes to improved accuracy of dataflow. Going forward, the two Organizations will intensify participation in yearly data and statistically focused meetings. They will continue to engage under the Joint Organizations Data Initiative (JODI).
The two organisations however resolved to continue and strengthen cooperation; increase knowledge sharing by participating in each other’s events; and work together on environmental matters in the build-up to the 27th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP27) to be held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.
OPEC and GECF have common Member Countries and common values. Algeria, Equatorial Guinea, IR Iran, Libya, Nigeria and Venezuela are members of both. OPEC Member Countries Angola, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates are GECF Observers.
The leaders agreed to hold the next High-Level Meeting of the OPEC-GECF Energy Dialogue in 2023.
EnergyDay gathered that Nigeria as a member of the  relatively new GECF has four (4) representatives. The Ministerial, Executive Board, Technical & Executive (TEC) and Special Envoy for Data & Statistics (SEDAS) representatives.
Timipre Silva is Nigeria’s representative at the high-level governmental committee as the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, while Engr Saidu Aliyu Mohammed, former Chief Operating Officer of Gas and Power Directorate of NNPC, is on Executive Board, Bala Wunti, Group General Manager, National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS)  is the representative on TEC and Aliyu Dikko is on SEDAS