BOLIVIA AT THE GAS EXPORTING COUNTRIES FORUM (GECF)
BACKGROUND TO THE GAS EXPORTING COUNTRIES FORUM
The Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) is an international governmental organisation that provides the framework for the exchange of experience and information between Member Countries.
The GECF is a gathering of the world’s major gas exporting countries and was established as an international governmental organisation with the objective of increasing the level of coordination and strengthening collaboration between Member Countries. The GECF 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.
According to GECF’s Statute, the organisation aims to support the sovereign rights of its members over their natural gas resources and their ability to develop, preserve and utilise these resources for the benefit of their peoples, through the exchange of experience, views, information and coordination on gas-related matters. The Member Countries of the Forum are: Algeria, Bolivia, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela. The countries of Angola, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Malaysia, Norway, Peru and the United Arab Emirates have observer status.
With the current number of members, the FPEG has a strong position in global energy markets and among international energy organisations. Together, the coalition accounts for 70% of proven gas reserves, 44% of marketed gas production, 52% of gas pipeline and 51% of LNG exports worldwide. The Forum highly values this potential of its Member Countries and Observer Members and, at the same time, looks forward to further increasing their number and to welcoming new members who share the common interests and objectives of the Forum’s Statute.
BOLIVIA’S PARTICIPATION IN THE GAS EXPORTING COUNTRIES FORUM (GECF)
Although the origins of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) date back to the first Meeting of Ministers held in Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, in May 2001, with the participation of the governments of Algeria, Brunei, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Russian Federation, Turkmenistan and Norway, the latter as an observer, the participation of the Plurinational State of Bolivia in the Forum officially began with the enactment of Law No. 382 of 7 June 2013, which in its sole article ratifies the “Agreement on the functioning of the GECF” and the “Statute of the GECF”, both signed in the city of Moscow, Russian Federation, on 7 June 2013. 382 of 7 June 2013, which in its sole article ratifies the “Agreement on the functioning of the FPEG” and the “Statute of the FPEG”, both signed in the city of Moscow, Russian Federation, on 23 December 2008.
Bolivia’s first participation in a meeting of Ministers of the GECF took place at the 7th Ministerial Meeting of the GECF, held in Moscow, Russian Federation, on 23 December 2008. At this Ministerial Meeting, the GECF was established as an International Governmental Organisation with the approval and signing of the Agreement on the functioning of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum and the Statute of the GECF – the documents that constitute the legal basis for the Forum, thus transforming it in to a full-fledged international organisation. The word “Forum” was kept in the name of the organisation to reflect its open and democratic nature.
The Agreement and the Statute of the GECF were signed by the Ministers of the current member countries of the Forum: Algeria, Bolivia, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela. Kazakhstan and Norway were accepted as Observer Members and the city of Doha, Qatar was designated as the Headquarters of the Forum. Since then, Bolivia has participated regularly in the Ministerial Meetings as a permanent member and up to the last Ministerial Meeting, held in Doha, Qataron 12 November 2020via videoconference, with the participation of the following countries: Algeria, Bolivia, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela, as well as Angola, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Malaysia and Norway as Observers. It is worth mentioning the participation of the current Bolivian Minister of Hydrocarbons and Energies,HE Franklin Molina Ortiz in the event.
Among the main points agreed at the 22nd Ministerial Meeting were that natural gas, as the world’s fastest growing fossil fuel, will become the leading source in the global energy mix by mid-century, increasing its share of the world’s energy mix from 23% to 28%. The Ministers also highlighted the fact that natural gas is an abundant and flexible energy source that will continue to meet the world’s growing energy needs, as well as the requirements of the three pillars of sustainable development, namely economic development, social process and environmental protection. It was further emphasised that natural gas will continue to be a stepping stone to sustainable development and the reduction of emissions from energy systems.
BOLIVIA HOSTED THE IV SUMMIT OF THE GAS EXPORTING COUNTRIES FORUM (GECF)
Bolivia hosted the 4th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum on 24 November 2017 in Santa Cruz, with the participation of 19 countries and 27 companies from the gas industry.
The then Secretary General of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, Dr Hossein Adeli, together with Bolivia’s former Minister of Hydrocarbons, Luis Alberto Sánchez, announced the participation of representatives from Algeria, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezeula as well as Azerbaijan, Iraq, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Norway, Oman and Peru as Observers.
On this landmark occasion, supply, demand, new markets and the promotion of Bolivia’s 80 gas-producing areas were discussed.
It is noteworthy that Bolivia was designated to host the Summit on 24 November 2015 in Tehran, Iran, at the end of the 3rd Summit that brought together nine Heads of State and Government of the countries that make up the GECF.