July 22, 2008

U.S. Against Idea of Gas Cartel – Diplomat

MOSCOW. July 22 (Interfax) - The U.S. is against the idea of setting up a gas cartel similar to OPEC, U.S. Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy Boyden Gray told Interfax.

"We are not in favor of cartels of any kind," Gray said.

"I have been told [and] taught for some time that natural gas is not a natural product for such a cartel like [an] entity in part because it's not yet a fungible commodity. I've been in Qatar where they are quite explicit - the Qataris are - because of the long- term nature of these fixed contracts and the relevant absence of a spot market for LNG that it would be some time, quite some years, before such a cartel would even be possible, and I think that one of the problems with some of the gas relations in Europe is that the contracts may be sort of too long, too foreclosing for readjustment. And so I just don't see it in the short term," Gray said.

"We would not support it. We are a big producer of natural gas. We in the U.S., it's mostly of course for our own consumption, but our production has stayed pretty even, even though our oil production has declined, and our gas is hanging in there, as we say in America, but even so I don't think we would welcome any such" idea, he said.

The full version of Boyden's interview will be available later at www.interfax.ru.

(c) 2008 Daily News Bulletin; Moscow - English. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.