On February 10, 2013 Doha hosted the ceremonial opening of a Gazprom representative office in Qatar.
Taking part in the opening ceremony were Viktor Zubkov, Chairman of the Gazprom Board of Directors, Russian Special Presidential Representative for Cooperation with the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, Mohammed Al Sada, Minister of Energy and Industry of Qatar, Leonid Bokhanovsky, Secretary General of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, Pavel Fedorov, Russian Deputy Energy Minister, Dmitry Trofimov, Charge d'Affaires of the Russian Federation in Qatar, Pavel Oderov, Head of the Gazprom International Business Department, representatives of the leading Qatari petroleum companies.
At the meeting Viktor Zubkov and Mohammed Al Sada exchanged opinions regarding the global gas market evolution and discussed joint efforts aimed at the popularization and promotion of natural gas as an effective and eco-friendly energy carrier. In particular, the meeting addressed its wider application including natural gas use as a motor fuel.
ôThe countries of the Arabian Peninsula in general and Qatar in particular play an important role in today's global energy system. The representative office will contribute to stronger partnership ties and will provide an additional impetus to closer mutually beneficial cooperation with the states of the region,ö said Viktor Zubkov.
Viktor Zubkov also met with Hamad bin Jassim, Prime Minister of Qatar. The parties addressed the bilateral cooperation in the gas sector.
Since 2010 Gazprom Group has been purchasing Qatari LNG and liquefied petroleum gases as well as developing the cooperation by leasing vessels to the Qatari partners for marine transportation of products.
In April 2011 pursuant to the decision of the Gazprom Board of Directors, the Company's representative office in Qatar was established. The representative office pursues the primary objectives of contributing to long-term mutually beneficial cooperation of Gazprom with the Persian Gulf Arab states as well as representing and protecting the Company's interests in the region. The representative office activities also include searching for new ways and forms of running the Company's business in the energy markets of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf countries and Yemen. In addition, the representative office provides information and analytical support of projects and is involved in coordinating Gazprom Group activities in the region, including the reinforcement of the cooperation within the Gas Exporting Countries Forum.
The Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) was established in 2001 in Teheran. The Forum was transformed into an international organization and was assigned the relevant legal status at the 7th GECF Ministerial Meeting of December 2008 held in Moscow. The GECF is headquartered in Doha (Qatar).
In May 2012 Viktor Zubkov was appointed as Russian Special Presidential Representative for Cooperation with the Gas Exporting Countries Forum.
In December 2009 the Russian Federation representative Leonid Bokhanovsky was elected as Secretary General of the Forum. Nowadays, the Forum participants are Algeria, Bolivia, Venezuela, Egypt, Iran, Qatar, Libya, Nigeria, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, the Russian Federation, Equatorial Guinea, Trinidad & Tobago, with Iraq, the Netherlands, Norway and Kazakhstan as observers.