CAIRO: Egypt has invited the world s major oil and gas producers and consumers to a roundtable in November to discuss supply security, Petroleum Minister Sameh Fahmi told AFP Thursday. I took the initiative to ask for a roundtable, bringing together members of the Organization of the Oil Exporting Countries (OPEC) countries, as well as non-members Russia, Mexico, China and India, he said in an interview. The meeting, which is to take place either in Cairo or Sharm El-Sheikh, is also to include gas exporting countries. I m not worried about the price of gas or oil, said Fahmi, stressing that his real concern was the security of global supply. Eventually the situation will be that there is no supply, he said. Egypt wants to establish a framework agreement on price and supply to be fixed for five-year periods to allow more visibility to consumers and producers. Some countries cannot afford to pay … what are they going to do? asked Fahmi. Initial reactions to the meeting were very good, he said. Everyone is very interested in coming here. Energy security is also at the top of the agenda for the G8 summit that Russia is to host in July. World crude oil prices have settled to around $70 per barrel, but analysts say there remains an upward trend fuelled by geopolitical tensions affecting the big oil producers Iran, Nigeria and Iraq as well as short-term factors and China s high consumption demand. Egypt, while not a member of OPEC, is a significant oil producer with an output of 600,000 barrels a day, but its exports remain modest at 125,000 barrels. However, recent discoveries of natural gas depots have pushed Egypt to be the sixth exporter of gas in the world. Egypt s natural gas reserves currently stand at 1.8 billion cubic meters.
BG said its decision was final but Israel remains bent on reversing the setback. Ben Eliezer held talks with Omar Suleiman, Egyptian intelligence chief, on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum on the Middle East in Sharm El-Sheikh earlier this week. According to experts, Olmert himself is also expected to raise the issue at a meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair scheduled to take place in London next month. Prieto also made it clear that Israel still had the power to undermine the Palestinian gas project. He refused to elaborate, saying only: We hope Egypt will help us on this matter. Agencies