TEHRAN, Nov. 16 (Shana) – Member countries of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) account for 42 percent of the world’s gas production, 70 percent of the world’s gas reserves, 38percentof pipeline gas transmission and 85 percent of liquefied natural gas (LNG) trade.
Algeria, Bolivia, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela constitute the 12 member states of GECF. The Iraq, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Norway, Oman and Peru have observer status.
GECF is a multi-layered and open forum providing flexibility of participation in its activities. GECF highly values the potential of its full and Observer Members, and at the same time encourages further increase in their numbers and welcomes new members.
Iran is the 17th largest country in the world in terms of area at 1,648(1000 sq. km), and has a population of over 75 million. It is the second largest economy in the Middle East. Its proven oil reserves amounted to 157.8 billion barrels in 2013 and its natural gas reserves were estimated at 34.02 thousand bcf in that year. The country is influential in the Middle East due to its strategic position in the Strait of Hormuz and its vast area.
Algeria has a mixed geography with a large portion falling in the desert region and a long coastal line along Mediterranean Sea in the north, with the main towns, fertile land and beach resorts. The country is bordered in the east by Tunisia and Libya, in the west by Morocco, Western Sahara and Mauritania, in the southwest by Mali, in the southeast by Niger, and in the north by the Mediterranean Sea. Algeria has had significant growth in recent years, mainly due to oil and gas exports. Its crude oil production, NGL and other liquids (1,000 b/d) stands at 1.630. Algeria exported 27.44 bcm of gas last year.
Bolivia is a diverse country located between the Andes and the Amazon, in which various ethnic groups coexist. It is bordered by Brazil to the north and east, Paraguay and Argentina to the south, and Chile and Peru to the west.
The hydrocarbon sector is controlled by the state-owned Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB) company. Bolivia has the second largest natural gas reserves in South America after Venezuela, providing an important potential source of energy to its Southern Cone neighbors and to Brazil. Bolivia’s reserves are estimated at 24 bcf, but it remains the poorest South American state.
The Arab Republic of Egypt is a country in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge to Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean region, the Middle East and the Islamic world. Covering an area of about 1,000,000 square kilometers, Egypt is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south and Libya to the west.
Egypt has an advanced energy industry based on, oil, natural gas, and hydro power. Oil and gas are produced in the western desert regions, the Gulf of Suez, the Nile Delta and the Mediterranean. In addition to its role as an oil and gas exporter, Egypt has strategic importance because of its operation of the Suez Canal and Sumed (Suez-Mediterranean) Pipeline. These are two routes for export of Persian Gulf oil and Suez Canal also for export of LNG.
Egypt’s excess of natural gas will more than meet its domestic demand for many years to come. The Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources has established expanding local gas utilization and the Egyptian petrochemical industry as its most significant strategic objectives. In 2009 around 30% of local gas production was exported most of which in the form of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Their natural gas reserves were estimated at 66,000 bcf in 2005 and currently big companies like BP are operating gas projects there.
The Republic of Equatorial Guinea is situated on the oil and gas rich Gulf of Guinea and comprises the Rio Muni coastal enclave which consists of several islands of Cameroon coast and a part of the African mainland between Gabon and Cameroon. Equatorial Guinea is a fast growing economy due to investments in its recently discovered large reserves of oil and gas which are altering the economic and political status of the country. The upstream oil and gas industry is key to the economy of Equatorial Guinea and is growing rapidly with expanding foreign interest and investment. Launch of a new LNG facility in 2007 (Liquefied Natural Gas) plant contributed to rising gas output.
Libya is located in North Africa and shares borders with Tunisia, Algeria, Niger, Chad, Sudan, Egypt, and the Mediterranean Sea. It has a Mediterranean climate along the coast and a desert climate in the rest of the country. The bulk of the rainfall occurs between November and March. With an area of almost 1,800,000 square kilometers, Libya is the fourth largest country in Africa by area, and the 17th largest in the world.
Libya is a major oil producer with the oil sector contributing practically to all export earnings and over one-quarter of GDP. It is also an exporter of natural gas both by LNG and pipeline to Europe exporting about 9.9 billion cubic meters in 2009. The Libyan government plans to significantly increase the country’s natural gas production in order to expand the use of natural gas in the power sector. In 2001, the country’s proven gas reserves stood at 1.539 thousand bcf.
The Federal Republic of Nigeria is located in western Africa on the Gulf of Guinea and has a total area of 924,000 km2. It shares a 4,047 kilometers border with Benin, Niger, Chad, Cameroon, and has a coastline of at least 853 km.
Nigeria is the 12th largest producer of petroleum in the world and also possesses the largest natural gas reserves in the continent. The capital-intensive oil sector provides 20 per cent of gross domestic product, 95 per cent of foreign exchange earnings, and about 65 per cent of budgetary revenues.
Natural gas reserves are well over 5 tcm and are several times as substantial as the crude oil reserves.
The State of Qatar is located on the east coast of the Arabian Peninsula, bordering Saudi Arabia. It is approximately 160km long and 50-80km wide with a total land area of 11,586 sq km. The south is dominated by sand dunes.
Qatar holds the world’s third largest natural gas reserves and is the largest supplier of liquefied natural gas. Qatar proven natural gas reserves stand at approximately 25 trillion cubic meters. Qatar holds almost 14 percent of total world natural gas reserves and is the third-largest in the world after Russia and Iran. The majority of Qatar’s natural gas is located in the massive offshore North Field, which spans an area roughly equivalent to Qatar itself. In year 2010 Qatar celebrated achieving 77 Mta LNG production capacity.
Qatar is also a member of OPEC and is a significant net exporter of oil. GECF Headquarters are located in Doha, Qatar.
The Russian Federation covers more than an eighth of the Earth’s land area and stretches from the Baltic and Black Seas in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east. Russia has a population of 142 million. The country has the world’s largest natural gas reserves, the 8th largest oil reserves and the second largest coal reserves. Russia is the world’s leading natural gas exporter and leading natural gas producer, it is also the second largest oil exporter and largest oil producer, though Russia interchanges the latter status with Saudi Arabia from time to time.
Russia’s natural gas reserves were estimated at 48,000 bcf in 2011. It exported 221 bcf of gas in that year.
Trinidad and Tobago
The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is an archipelagic state in the southern Caribbean, lying just off the coast of north-eastern Venezuela and south of Grenada in the Lesser Antilles. It shares maritime boundaries with other nations including Barbados to the northeast, Guyana to the southeast, and Venezuela to the south and west.
Oil and gas account for approximately 40% of GDP and 80% of exports. Recent growth has been fuelled by investments in liquefied natural gas (LNG), petrochemicals, and steel. Trinidad and Tobago achieved a century of commercial oil production in 2008. The country is known globally for the development of its natural gas sector and in 2011 engaged in providing energy services expertise to other countries on projects to enable the development of their natural gas sector. Additionally, downstream value-added petrochemical and other projects are in various stages of planning.
The United Arab Emirates is situated on the north-eastern margin of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bounded to the west and south by the border with Saudi Arabia, to the east by the Gulf of Oman to the southeast by the border with the Sultanate of Oman, as well as sharing maritime boundaries with Qatar, Oman and Iran.
The UAE has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world. Although it was heavily dependent on revenues from hydrocarbons in the initial years, the UAE is relatively well insulated from periods of low oil prices due to successful economic diversification, large foreign exchange reserves and overseas investments. The country’s natural gas reserves are estimated at 6.1 thousand bcf and its exports at 5.18 bcf.
Venezuela is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south. Venezuela’s natural resources make it a country of vast economic potential. The petroleum sector dominates, accounting for 50% of central government revenue and over 90% of exports. It has the world’s largest conventional oil reserves outside the Middle East and also one of the largest natural gas reserves. Venezuela’s natural gas reserves were estimated at 5.5 thousand bcf in 2012.