Since Russia, Iran and Qatar recently said that they were forming an Opec-style gas cartel, Western concerns about global energy markets have hit new heights. The move by the three countries, which control 60% of the world’s gas reserves, was met with immediate opposition from the European commission, which fears the group could drive up prices. Alexey Miller, chairman of Russia-based Gazprom, said they were forming a “big gas troika” and warned that the era of cheap hydrocarbons had come to an end. “We are united by the world’s largest gas reserves, common strategic interests and, which is of great importance, high cooperation potential in tripartite projects,” he explained. “We have agreed to hold regular – three to four times a year – meetings of the gas G3 to discuss the crucial issues of mutual interest.” Mr Miller’s comments, likely to increase pressure on the west to accelerate developments in wind and other renewable energy alternatives, followed a meeting in Tehran with Gholamhossein Nozari, Iran’s petroleum minister, and Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah, Qatar’s deputy prime minister and oil and energy minister. Mr Miller said the group was establishing a technical committee comprised of specialists and experts to discuss the implementation of joint projects embracing the entire value chain from geological exploration to marketing. The European commission said that it would oppose the creation of any organisation that could restrict competition.