-GECF head@ (Adds quotes and context, includes byline)
SANTA CRUZ, Bolivia, Nov 21 (Reuters) - The Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) sees no glut of natural gas in the global market and said competition is needed, the head of the organization that gathers the world's largest producers said on Tuesday during a meeting in Bolivia.
"If you compare production to consumption, you would see that production is not overwhelming the consumption," said the secretary general of the forum, Sayed Mohammad Hossein Adeli.
The gathering of top natural gas exporters including Qatar, Iran, Russia and Venezuela is expected to discuss pricing methodologies during its meeting this week, which will also include a ministerial conference and a meeting of gas producing company chief executives.
The world's consumption of natural gas grew about 1.5 percent in 2016 to reach some 3.54 trillion cubic meters (TCM) driven by unconventional gas production, according to BP's statistical review.
Hossein said that natural gas consumption was expected to grow 2 percent this year, primarily driven by strong demand in Europe and Asia.
The secretary general called for competition in the gas market. "In the energy market competitiveness is very important. If there is low competition, then the market will not be able to function well."
(Reporting by Alexandra Alper, writing by Gary McWilliams and Marianna Parraga Editing by Marguerita Choy)