Nigeria has assured the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, GECF, of its continuous support as it struggles to surmount the current challenges in the global oil and gas industry.
President Muhammadu Buhari in Teheran, Iran, at the Third Summit of Heads of State and Government of the GECF members noted that trying times call for more cooperation and coordination by members.
He thanked President Hassan Rouhani of Iran for the invitation to discuss issues affecting the GECF and reaffirm commitment to the objectives of the Forum.
Ibe Kachikwu, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and president of the forum at the 17th ministerial meeting of the forum identified market volatility, increasing competition, price war and escalating cost of infrastructure development as the key challenges facing the gas industry in general and the GECF in particular.
He posited that volatility has brought so much uncertainty and instability to the market thus affecting decisions on investment for long term supply of gas.
He noted that increasing competition occasioned by the surge in new gas producers has led to a price war at a time when the cost of infrastructure development is escalating.
These developments, he argued, are setting the stage for even more challenges for the industry and GECF Member Countries in the future.
However, Kachikwu cautioned against reacting to the current challenges by failing to invest in the industry assuring of a market turn-around in view of the world’s need for energy and the environmental credentials of gas as the cleanest hydrocarbon fuel.
He commended the forum for its success since inception in 2001 and urged members to continue to give the required support to make it realize its fullest potentials.
At the meeting, SM Hossein Adeli was reappointed as GECF Secretary General for another period of two years.
Adeli, an Iranian Professor of Economics and former Governor of the Iranian Central Bank had competed for the position with Nigeria’s Ambassador Shuaibu Adamu Ahmed, a diplomat, and Chartered Accountant and Financial Consultant.
The Ministers appointed Mohammed Bin Saleh Al-Sada, Minister of Energy of Qatar, as President of the Ministerial Meeting from January 1 until December 31, 2016, and Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, Minister of Petroleum of Iran as alternate president for the same period.
The meeting was attended by nine Heads of State and Government of the Forum’s Member Countries and five representatives of other Member and Observer Countries.