CW says the Russians are giving structure to what had been a loose organization of countries that produce natural gas, but there are fears that when this structure becomes organized and powerful enough it could be used for other purposes like what was seen in 1974 when the OPEC countries hiked prices and cut off production. But that's about 10-15 years away from that being a possibility. (What is the conceivable risk that the U.S. could see in that?) I would say the U.S. should have a great interest in this forum and should look to be involved in the group because natural gas is going to become a more significant part of the energy needs of the world. (Is there an invitation for the U.S. to join this kind of gas OPEC?) At this stage this is not being proposed, but we do know that Russian representatives are, for example, talking to Alaskan representatives for joining in with development of offshore oil fields in Alaska so the engagement is there. (So what is the take home message here?) I think the world needs a bigger supply of natural gas but the gas is available in only difficult areas. The problem is that the people who control the gas have political objectives as well. (What does it mean that Putin is the one who's making these announcements?) Effectively, they are dealing with Putin as the national leader today even though he doesn't hold the position of president.

Related Stories