DEFINITION of 'Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF)'

An organization of the world's leading gas producers that was established in 2001 to represent and promote their mutual interest. GECF members collectively hold more than 70% of the world's natural gas reserves. As of 2010, the GECF has 11 regular members - Algeria, Bolivia, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Russia, Trinidad & Tobago and Venezuela. It also has three members with observer status - Kazakhstan, Netherlands and Norway.

BREAKING DOWN 'Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF)'

Given that a number of GECF members also belong to OPEC, there has long been speculation about the organization becoming a "Gas OPEC." However, some observers believe that the fundamental differences in the two organizations, as well as the fact that crude oil and natural gas are very different commodities, may hinder the formation of GECF into a gas cartel along the lines of OPEC.

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