Gas producers attending the forum include Egypt, the UAE, Qatar, Algeria, Iran, Russia and Venezuela. They are expected to debate the proposed structure of the organisation during a meeting between deputy oil ministers and their advisers, according to Iran’s official energy news agency, Shana.

“The organisation will act not like a cartel but as a policy-making body where the member countries can discuss issues such as the exchange of technology [and] reducing production costs,” said Ali Kordan, deputy oil minister of Iran.

Russia’s proposals are expected to include the adoption of an international forum on gas pricing, along with the establishment of a gas supply network to compensate for shortfalls in long-term contracts.

Kordan added that a major part of Iran’s planned energy investments of about $400bn over the next 20 years would be devoted to the gas sector.

The next meeting of the GECF is due to be held in Russia in June.