The 20th Ministerial Meeting of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), which coincided with the 10th Anniversary of the Forum, convened in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, on Wednesday November 14, 2018, under the Chairmanship of His Excellency Senator the Honourable Franklin Khan, Minister of Energy and Energy Industries of Trinidad and Tobago, and President of the Ministerial Meeting.
A well-attended event, the 20th Ministerial Meeting saw delegates from Algeria, Bolivia, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Nigeria, Qatar, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela represent their respective countries. The Chairman of the Executive Board and the Secretary General were also in attendance.
The ministers noted the role of natural gas in human wellbeing and as well in the reduction of greenhouse effects, and iterated the need for close cooperation and unity for gas development and gas business for the benefit of nations.
The Ministerial Meeting welcomed the Republic of Angola as an Observer Member of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum.
The Meeting went on to discuss the GECF 2018 Global Gas Outlook and endorsed the Secretariat’s proposal to introduce a synopsis of its findings to the public on December 7, 2018 in Vienna, Austria.
The Forum’s Annual Statistical Bulletin 2018 and the GECF Short-Term Market Report were discussed and the Secretariat was thanked for its continued improvements/efforts.
On the GECF Gas Research Institute (GRI), the Ministerial Meeting considered and approved the recommendation of the Executive Board to launch the necessary activities related to the functioning of the Institute.In accordance with the decision of the 2017 Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia Summit Declaration that the 5th Summit of GECF Heads of State and Government will be hosted in Malabo by the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, the Ministerial Meeting affirmed its support of preparations so far made by Equatorial Guinea.
The budget of the Secretariat for 2019 was approved by the attendees and the Ministerial Meeting appointed His Excellency Mr Manuel Quevedo, Minister of the People’s Power for Petroleum of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, as President of the Ministerial Meeting for 2019 and His Excellency, Mr Luis Alberto Sanchez Fernandez, the Minister of Hydrocarbons of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, as Alternate President for the same period.
Furthermore, it was decided that the 21st Ministerial Meeting of the GECF will convene in October 2019, in Caracas, Venezuela.
The Meeting ended on a positive note when – in addition to the gratitude extended at the start of the meeting to the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, His Excellency the Right Honourable Dr. Keith Christopher Rowley, for attending and delivering the keynote address at the Gas Symposium – expressions of sincere gratitude were conveyed to the government and people of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago for the warm hospitality and excellent arrangements made for the event.