Gas exporters not looking to follow OPEC

The world's major gas exporting countries are meeting in Moscow to discuss the formation of an organisation that some are calling a "Gas OPEC". However, those involved insist it will differ from the petroleum exporting countries' union.

In October Russia agreed to form a Gas Troika with Qatar and Iran. The group accounts for a third of global reserves and says it will safeguard global supplies. Now, the gas exporting countries might form a larger permanent organisation, which they insist is different from OPEC.

"What is OPEC? Basically it's a group of countries that got together and either increased or dropped production," said Konstantin Simonov, head of the National Energy Security Foundation, stressing that the goals for the gas alliance will be different.

"What we want to do is to separate the oil and gas markets and create new principles of trade. Now the price of gas still depends on the oil price in a sophisticated way. We want to split them up," Simonov explained.

The idea has caused some controversy among western consumers. Japan and the US are among those strongly opposed to the plans, saying it will dictate the market and not help production.

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