But unlike Iran's Oil Minister Gholamhossein Nozari, Gazprom Chief Executive Alexei Miller did not refer to the establishment of a "gas OPEC" after talks with Nozari and Qatar's Energy Minister Abdullah al-Attiyah in Tehran.
"There is a demand to form this gas OPEC and there is a consensus to set up gas OPEC," Nozari told a joint news conference after talks with Miller and Attiyah.
Europe and the
"We have agreed to hold regular -- three or four times per year -- meetings of the 'big gas troika' to discuss key issues of gas market developments," Miller said in a statement.
"We have a common vision of the goals of the forum and the need to transform it into a permanent organization as quickly as possible to serve the goals of stable and reliable energy supplies in the world," the statement issued in
Major gas exporters have met informally for several years at the annual Gas Exporting Countries Forum, a grouping including also
Attiyah said: "God willing, in the next meeting of the gas exporting countries, they will affirm the establishment of the organization."
Gazprom has previously played down the idea of a gas OPEC, saying it was not feasible.
Some analysts say any gas OPEC could be expected to share insights on upstream contract terms with investors rather than act on restricting gas supply as the oil OPEC does.
"Surely this gathering of gas exporting countries is to give assurances over gas supply to the world," Miller, whose country is the world's largest gas exporter, told the news conference.
Russia has been a reluctant backer of U.N. sanctions imposed on Iran over its nuclear program, which Tehran says is to generate electricity but which the West fears is to make bombs.
Nozari hailed Tuesday's talks as a "turning point" in expanding cooperation between
Miller said the new body would "review projects and implement joint projects. This will range from exploration, refining and selling gas". He added the committee of technical specialists would meet in