On December 23, 2008 a major change occurred in the global energy industry. The GECF, a previously informal association of countries that export significant amounts of natural gas, met in Moscow, Russian Federation to formally adopt a charter. GECF will now formally open offices in Doha, Qatar.
The GECF was organized back in 2001 but had previously been given little consideration by energy industry analysts. However, in 2008, led by Russian prime minister Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, the GECF transitioned into a more formal organization and increased fears among gas consumer countries that the GECF could evolve into a "cartel" similar to OPEC that could threaten to disrupt global energy supplies.
GECF currently consists of: Algeria, Bolivia, Brunei, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Indonesia, Iran, Libya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Qatar, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela. Kazakhstan and Norway are observers. In fact Qatar, Iran and Russia hold the bulk of the world's known reserves of natural gas.
The ongoing evolution of the Global Economic Crisis and especially the severe economic impact on the economy of the Russian Federation continues to influence the future of the GECF and it's potential impact on global securities markets.