COVID-19, energy transition in spotlight at GECF meet

March 13, 2021

The Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) held its 38th executive board meeting via video conference. The meeting was attended by high-ranking officials of Algeria, Bolivia, Egypt, Iran, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela.
Azerbaijan, Iraq, Malaysia, Norway, Peru and the UAE participated as observers.
During the two-day meeting, the gathering reviewed 2020 milestones, summed up the main outcomes of the 22nd Ministerial Meeting and associated events that were held in November 2020, and forged the way forward for GECF’s smooth sailing through the first part of 2021.
Commencing the event, Mohamed Hamel, the executive board member from Algeria and the chairman of the GECF Executive Board in 2021, acknowledged the efforts of the secretariat on serving the interests of the member countries in the most accomplished manner and advancing the industry at a global level.
Hamel said, “For more than a year now, the world has suffered from the COVID-19 pandemic, a human tragedy that has resulted in a dramatic loss of lives and livelihoods. It has been a heavy drag on our economies, reducing export revenues, and scaling back investments. The adverse impact on the energy sector is unprecedented.”
“The pandemic will have a lasting impact. The world will not be as before, driven by changes in policies, technology, environmental concerns, consumer preferences, and geopolitics. In this context, the role of the GECF is even more important in the forthcoming decade. Its advocacy role for natural gas has to be impactful in the energy transition journey that the world has embarked on,” Hamel said.
An extensive report was submitted for the attention of the executive board with a particular accent on the gradual progress of the secretariat’s performance, along with priority activity areas and other plans in the run-up to the marque event, the 6th GECF Summit of Heads of State and Government to be held in Doha in November this year.
“It is paramount to stay united with one voice and align all recovery efforts to deal with the economic aftermath of the crisis in order to accelerate the recovery from the ravages brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. I do believe that the best is yet to come for the Forum if we continue in the spirit of multilateral beneficial cooperation,” GECF Secretary General Yury Sentryurin said.
The status report on the preparation of 2021’s edition of the Global Gas Outlook 2050 was in focus at the meeting, where the GECF Secretariat briefed the audience on further advancement of this signature deliverable.
The features of the second edition of the Annual Short-Term Gas Market Report and new improvements in the Data Exchange Mechanism were also introduced in the meeting.
“Despite the challenges facing the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the GECF Secretariat has continued its activities whether it is positioning the Forum internationally in a favourable light, or pushing forward the image of natural gas; making new discoveries and facts through our forecasting work, or unearthing data for deeper understanding; bringing our more than a dozen members on the same table, or strengthening the core of the organization through internal checks and audits, the GECF Secretariat has continued to make progress on many fronts,” Sentryurin said.
The proceedings were complemented with discussions on the status reports on the 6th Summit, research activities, programme of work and 2021 budget, the advancement of the Forum’s Technical and Economic Council performance, and enhancement pertaining to legal functions.
The executive board is a governing body of the GECF, second only to the supreme authority vested in the Ministerial Meeting. It directs the operational affairs of the Forum, implements the decisions of the Ministerial Meetings, and considers the yearly Programme of Work of the secretariat for further approval by the Ministerial Meeting, in accordance with the GECF statute, the long-term strategy, and the 5-year working plan.

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