Ministry: Peru, Trinidad in Talks to Join 'Gas OPEC'

Peru and Trinidad & Tobago are in talks to join Opegasur, the OPEC-style natural gas producers' organization Venezuela is promoting, Venezuela's energy and oil minister Rafael Ramirez said in a ministry statement.

"We already are in talks to expand [Opegasur] and hope to include other countries such as Peru and Trinidad & Tobago," he said.

Ramirez, who also is president of state oil firm PDVSA, promoted Opegasur on Monday at the 4th Gas-Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) meeting in Qatar.

The GECF meeting adjourned with the promise to set up a committee to monitor natural gas market conditions, headed by member country and leading gas exporter Russia. No steps, however, were made to establish a natural gas cartel, according to press reports.

In addition to setting prices through production quotas, Opegasur would finance E&P projects and allow member countries to share E&P technology, according to Venezuelan government sources.

Argentina and Bolivia earlier this year signed on to Opegasur.

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