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OPEC Chief Says Cheap Gas Is History

We may not see these sort of prices again.
by Staff Writers
Abu-Dhabi, UAE (RIA Novosti) Apr 11, 2007
The current chairman of the international oil cartel, OPEC, further heightened gas consumer concerns Tuesday by saying natural gas prices might rise in the future.

The statement follows a forum of the world's leading gas exporters in Doha Monday, which decided to set up a committee for coordinating gas prices. Experts saw the move as the first step toward an OPEC-style gas cartel.

"The time of cheap gas is a matter of the past," Mohamed Bin Dhaen Al Hamli, also energy minister of the United Arab Emirates, told Qatar's Ash-Sharq newspaper. "Gas prices are approaching oil prices, and are based on ... market demand and supply."

The OPEC president said the forum of gas producers, established in 2001, was a good idea because it helped effective planning in the gas sector. He also said gas consumers' concerns about a possible gas cartel, which some Western officials have called a conspiracy, were understandable. The minister said it posed no threat to importers and called for dialogue between consumers and suppliers.

The Algerian energy minister, Chekib Khalil, reminded consumers that the idea of a gas producers' union originally belonged to Europe, which saw it as a guarantee of stable long-term supplies.

"We will make a decision after some consideration. OPEC, for example, was not formed overnight, it took at least 10 years," the minister said.

Source: RIA Novosti

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