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Gas Nations to Cooperate, Not as Cartel-Khelil | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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DOHA, (Reuters) – Gas exporting nations will work together but will have no power to fix prices until gas markets become more liquid, Algerian Energy and Mines Minister Chakib Khelil said on Sunday.

He was speaking on the eve of a meeting of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum that has generated speculation the group could become a cartel along the lines of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

The suggestions have been repeatedly dismissed by officials, including Khelil.

“We will continue to work together, doing what we have been doing up to now,” Khelil said of the gas forum.

“We always talk about cooperation, developing synergies, optimising transport.”

More market-moving collaboration is limited by the fact gas is a long way from being a globally traded commodity like oil.

“How could we do that?” Khelil said, when asked about pricing gas independently, rather than based on oil prices.

“All the contracts are tied to oil prices. Maybe in the long term there will be changes because we have a market that will be more liquid… right now it’s linked.”