Return of the Gas OPEC

This won’t do much to help those market jitters: Financial Times:

Gas exporters set to hold ‘gas Opec’ talks By Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson in Davos Leading gas producers will discuss the possible formation of “a gas Opec” at a summit in Moscow in June, Qatar’s energy minister said on Friday, raising the prospect of more co-ordination between gas exporters.

It was “too early” to say whether countries including Iran, Russia and Qatar would decide to create a gas equivalent of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Abdulla Bin Hamad Al Attiyah told a press conference at the World Economic Forum.However, experts appointed by the existing Gas Exporting Countries Forum last year were likely to present their thoughts in June, he said. “I think we will discuss it at the next meeting of the ministerial level of the gas forum in Moscow this year.”The United States and the European Union have warned that a “gas Opec” could threaten global energy security at a time when concerns are growing about rising energy prices and the growing political and economic influence of gas producers such as Russia.“It sends the wrong message to the consumer and could be an own goal,” said Fatih Birol, chief economist of the International Energy Agency, on Friday. Any resulting increase in gas prices could damage demand for gas-fired power stations, an important source of demand for gas.Mr Al Attiyah aid he would like to see gas prices, which vary around the world, trade at parity with oil prices. “Gas is still not seeing a [single] price for the whole world,” he said. “I would like, as a gas producer, to see gas at full parity to oil, because … gas is even more expensive to produce than oil so we should have at least no discrimination in gas against other fuels.”Opec ministers will hold their first meeting since oil touched a record price of $100 per barrel next week. Mr Al Attiyah said they would consider demand and supply for physical stocks of oil, adding: “If we are sure that the market needs it, we will move”.Mr Birol said Opec ministers should take into account this week’s rebound in oil prices despite concern about the strength of the US economy. “I think it may be a good signal for our colleagues to consider in the days to come,” he said.