What is the GECF (Gas Exporting Countries Forum)?

GECF stands for Gas Exporting Countries Forum. It is a group of 12 countries that make up seventy percent of global natural gas production. Forum members also have sixty-seven percent of the world’s proven natural gas reserves. The members set up the Forum in 2001 to improve coordination and strengthen collaboration.

The members are Egypt, Algeria, Venezuela, Bolivia, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Libya, Russia, Nigeria, Qatar, Trinidad and Tobago, and UAE. Although Azerbaijan, Iraq, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Norway, Oman, and Peru are not members, they have Observer Member status.

According to the Forum:

“GECF also seeks to build a mechanism for a more meaningful dialogue between gas producers and gas consumers for the sake of stability and security of supply and demand in global natural gas markets.”

GECF members also control 38% of global pipeline trade. Additionally, they control 85% of global LNG production. LNG stands for Liquefied Natural Gas.

There are thousands of miles of natural gas pipelines between the US and Canada, and also Russia and Europe.

CEGF Gas Exporting Countries Forum - image with definition and structure
Twelve countries are CEGF members.

GECF structure

The highest body of the forum is a Ministerial Meeting. Ministerial Meetings formulate the Forum’s general policy. They also determine how best to implement their policies.

The Secretariat organizes the work in between the Ministerial Meetings. The Secretariat has its headquarters in Doha, Qatar.

The Secretary General manages the Secretariat. Five functional units make up the Secretariat.

The ministers appoint the Secretary General, the Executive Board’s Chairman. They also appoint its Alternate Chairman.

The TEC or Technical and Economic Council is a permanent body within the GECF. It consists of national representatives from each country. Ministers appoint their representatives.

The Technical and Economic Council focuses on economic and technical matters. All member nations share their economic and technical views and findings.

All Ministerial Meeting resolutions other than on procedural matters require the unanimous agreement of all nations. Procedural matters, however, just require a majority of votes.

Regarding its position on the global natural gas market, the Forum says:

“With the current number of Members, the GECF has a strong position on the world gas market and among international energy organizations.”