Representatives from large natural gas?exporting countries met in Trinidad last month to discuss ways to protect their big investments in LNG facilities by ensuring a ?stable? market. ?We are not looking for a higher price, but we are looking for a fair price that has a good return for your investment,? Qatar?s energy minister told Washington reporters, according to the <i>Wall Street Journal<\/i>. So far, all the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF?a lousy acronym) has done is agree to build and share a global supply-and-demand model to assess future investments, a sensible decision, because the LNG business is much more capital intensive than oil. And no one wants to invest billions only to see their assets stranded by a glut in the market. Some believe an OPEC-like LNG cartel is in the works. LNG opponents have already enlisted the OPEC bogeyman in their cause, threatening that OPEC will dominate a new LNG cartel since many OPEC members have large gas reserves. Others, including Daniel Yergin, author of a seminal book on the oil industry, "The Prize," doubt that the OPEC analogy is a good one. It seems unlikely that the GECF will need to establish a quota system like OPEC?s any time soon. The LNG business is projected to double in the next five years to 12.5 trillion cubic feet per year, so there appears to be no lack of customers in the near future. LNG investors like to have long-term contracts in hand before committing billions of dollars; the danger of building liquefaction facilities, ships, and receiving terminals only to find too few customers is obvious. Nevertheless, the investment community has been known to exhibit irrational exuberance in the past, and the LNG bubble could pop. Someday in the future, Qatar and Russia, with the largest gas reserves, may try to convince other GECF members to support LNG prices by reducing supplies. Being dependent on imported oil and gas, as is the U.S., does have its risks.