MOSCOW, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) -- World gas producers approved here Tuesday the charter for the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) to be headquartered in Doha, Qatar, Russian media reported.
The charter agreed to set up an executive office and a Doha-based secretariat, with secretary general elected in the next forum, Russian itar-tass news agency reported.
At the current forum meeting, Equatorial Guinea was granted full membership and Kazakhstan observer status, raising the numberof members and observers of the GECF to 15 and two respectively.
Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko said the GECF is open to all countries, but full membership is only granted by the approval of at least three quarters of all members.
Gas producers also discussed the pricing mechanism of the gas market at the meeting, and they have agreed to exchange information concerning investment programs, and cooperate in the fields such as marketing, technology and liquefied natural gas.
Alexander Medvedev, deputy chairman of Gazprom which supplies a quarter of the European Union's gas, promised Tuesday that GECF won't become a monopolistic cartel.
The first ministerial meeting of the GECF was held in Iran in 2001.