GECF urges cooperation over market issues

The GECF declaration also highlighted the need for member states to work together over the security of natural gas supplies to the markets worldwide.

A landmark summit of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) wrapped up in Iran’s capital on Monday evening.

The GECF member states at the end of the summit issued a declaration that underscored the need to facilitate stronger cooperation over a series of industry issues including the transfer of expertise and pricing mechanisms.

The declaration also highlighted the need for member states to work together over the security of natural gas supplies to the markets worldwide.

It further echoed the objection of the member states against the application of extraterritorial laws and regulations and economic sanctions in gas trade and against the GECF states.

The full text of the Tehran Summit Declaration is as follows:

Tehran Summit Declaration of the Heads of State and Government of GECF Member Countries

23 November, 2015

Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Natural Gas: A fuel of choice for sustainable development

We, the Heads of State and Government of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) gathered in Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran on November 23, 2015, upon the invitation extended by HE Dr. Hassan Rouhani, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, to meet for our Third GECF Summit in the spirit of solidarity and cooperation:

(i) Reaffirming the absolute and permanent sovereignty of GECF member countries over their natural gas resources and their commitment to the principles and objectives of the statues of the Forum;

(ii) Recalling the declarations of the First Summit in Doha on November 15, 2011, and the Second Summit held in Moscow on July 1, 2013;

(iii) Cognizant of the member countries abilities, as reliable exporters of natural gas, to plan and manage effectively the development of their natural gas resources and to contribute to enhancing the security of natural gas supply;

(iv) Acknowledging the importance of gas energy and financial market stability in ensuring sufficient investments in current and future natural gas projects;

(v) Highlighting the importance of cooperation and coordination among member countries through exchange of information on gas industry and sharing of best practices as well as collaborative actions in promoting the use of natural gas worldwide;

(vi) Emphasizing the benefits of natural gas as a clean and abundant energy source and its potential contribution to global sustainable development;

(vii)  Stressing the importance of a fair and reasonable value for natural gas resources in a level playing field environment in the face of challenges posed by economic and political uncertainties as well as environmental concerns;

(viii)  Recognizing that the rising demand for natural gas driven by population growth, economic growth and environmental considerations calls for a greeted focus on the security of demand and supply and the application of stable, reliable and transparent market mechanisms free of politically motivated restrictions and unilateral decisions and interventions;

(ix)  Underscoring the need to support a collaborative approach and mechanism of policy coordination and strategy alignment on the world gas markets to enhance the prosperity and welfare of the member nations.

Declare our common determination to:

1.  Support the common interests of GECF member countries by implementing coordinated policies and strategies at the international level to enhance the overall socio-economic benefits of their natural gas resources,

2.  Promote natural gas consumption as the cleanest fossil fuel with a vital role in the global energy mix aiming to archived Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) for a clear, reliable and efficient source of energy, [to be convened and integrated international deliberations of COP 21],

3.  Enhance efforts in joint investments among member countries with the aim of providing efficient and reliable natural gas supply to world markets,

4.  Emphasize the fundamental role of long-term gas contracts in financing large-scale gas projects along the value chain, and develop contractual frameworks, taking into account the extensive efforts, investments, commitments and risks undertaken by member countries,

5.  Promote an open and constructive dialogue with natural gas importers through international and regional energy organizations on the issues including the demand for natural gas and necessary cross-border gas infrastructure development with the purpose of sharing risks equitably between suppliers and consumers of natural gas through the implementation of predictable and noon-discriminatory fiscal, trade, energy, and environmental policies.

6.  Enhance and strengthen, [through the creation of the GECF Gas Research Institute to be based in Algeria], cooperation, coordination and exchange of views among member countries and all stakeholders in the industry to achieve the GECF objectives, particularly in the fields of technology, logistics, management and development of human resources in order to promote efficiency, innovation, technology transfer and international best practices.

7.  Acknowledge the need to take a risk sharing approach to the issue of price formation and pricing mechanism with the linkage to crude oil and its products for natural gas in long-term contracts to ensure timely investment in the gas chain and recognize the need to reach a fair and reasonable price for natural gas by taking into account the nature of natural gas as a non-renewable and exhaustible resource as well as its advantages in terms of energy efficiency and environmental premiums.

8.  [Reiterate our firm objection to the application of extraterritorial laws and regulations and economic sanctions in gas trade and against GECF member countries].

9.  Strengthen the role of the GECF, as a platform for defining and advancing the member countries’ position on challenges in the global energy scene.

10.  Urge the GECF to develop new and effective dialogue between member countries, consuming countries and gas industry stakeholders to promote market transparency, stability and to facilitate transfer of technology in the interests of member countries.

The GECF member states at the end of their declaration thanked Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani for his “excellent leadership of the Third GECF Summit”.