Gazprom And Saudi Aramco Boost Gas Cooperation

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By Tsvetana Paraskova

Russia’s state-controlled gas giant Gazprom and Saudi Aramco have agreed to boost their cooperation in the gas sector, widening the possible areas of collaboration in the industry.

The chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, Alexey Miller, held working meetings on Wednesday in Riyadh and Dhahran in Saudi Arabia with Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih and Saudi Aramco’s President and CEO Amin Nasser, at which the parties agreed to set up a joint coordinating committee to follow up on the memorandum of understanding on gas cooperation that they signed last year.

In October 2017, Saudi Aramco and Gazprom signed an agreement to explore joint cooperation in the gas industry during the official visit of Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to Russia.

Back then, Aramco and Gazprom agreed to explore opportunities along the entire value chain from natural gas exploration, production, transmission, and storage to LNG projects.

At a joint investment forum in Moscow coinciding with the Saudi King’s visit to Russia, Aramco’s CEO Nasser outlined the areas of potential collaboration with Russian companies in the energy sector, including international gas; downstream petrochemicals; technology, research and innovation; trading; and climate change and carbon management.

Since Saudi Arabia and Russia started cooperating in the OPEC/non-OPEC oil production cut deal, the two countries have increased their energy ties.

Earlier this year, Russia and Saudi Arabia boosted further their energy ties, with potential deals in LNG, reciprocal investments in the other’s energy sector, and a possible participation of Russian investors in Aramco’s IPO.

Aramco also signed in February a memorandum of understanding with Russian gas producer Novatek to cooperate internationally on natural gas projects, including LNG supplies, development of LNG markets, gas exploration and production projects, as well as research and technology.

“NOVATEK’s strategy envisages rapidly growing our LNG production and attracting international partners, and, accordingly, we welcome the interest of such a globally important company as Saudi Aramco to jointly collaborate with us in gas markets,” the chairman of Novatek’s management board Leonid Mikhelson said back then.

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