Barely three weeks after her election as the first female president of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Diezani Alison-Madueke, Nigeria’s Minister of Petroleum Resources, has made history once again as the first woman to be appointed president of the ministerial meeting of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF).

Alison-Madueke who could not attend the meeting because of her involvement in the ongoing negotiations to end the oil workers’ strike in Nigeria was represented at the meeting by Shuaibu A. Ahmed, Nigerian ambassador to Qatar.

The GECF is an inter-governmental organisation established in Tehran, Iran, in 2001, to serve as a platform to promote the exchange of experience, views, information and coordination in global gas exploration and production trends. The group is also to look at current and anticipated supply-demand balance for gas; worldwide gas exploration, production and transportation technologies; the structure and development of gas markets (regional and global), amongst other common issues that pertain to the exploration, production and trade in natural gas.

The Forum is made up of 12 of the world’s leading producers of natural gas. It controls over 70 per cent of global natural gas reserves, 85 per cent of global liquefied natural gas production, and 38 per cent of global pipeline trade of the product.

Members include Algeria, Bolivia, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Libya and Nigeria. Others are: Qatar, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.

Other countries that enjoy observer-member status of the forum include Kazakhstan, Iraq, the Netherlands, Norway and Oman.

The GECF session where Alison-Madueke was appointed as president was attended by ministers from Algeria, Iran, Libya, Qatar, Russia, UAE, as well as heads of delegations from Bolivia, Equatorial Guinea, Egypt, Trinidad and Tobago Venezuela, Netherlands, Norway and Oman.

Johnson Alabi
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