Saudi Arabia boosts investment in Russian economy

Saudi Arabia boosts investment in Russian economy

Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia are expected to finalise a major agreement in the LNG sector as the oil market's biggest producers look to boost their co-operation in the face of growing prominence of the USA shale sector.

Russia, according to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2017, has the world's second-largest reserves of natural gas after Iran and is the world's second-largest producer of the fuel, which is being increasingly substituted for oil in Saudi stations.

Dmitriev told Reuters last month that there was great interest in the Aramco IPO from Russian pension funds and Chinese partners.

Russian banks and a joint Russia-China investment fund are eager to participate in Saudi company Aramco's initial public offering (IPO).

Saudi officials have said the government plans to sell up to 5 percent of Aramco shares on one or more foreign exchanges in addition to Riyadh.

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"We have a Russia-China investment fund, and through that Russia-China investment fund we see a major interest in the Aramco IPO from a number of leading Chinese institutions", Dmitriev said.

Saudi Arabia is planning to double its production of natural gas during the next 10 years to a target of 23 billion cubic feet per day, Saudi Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid Falih said on Wednesday.

The funds have invested in petrochemicals, energy, transport infrastructure and retail. "We believe this is very good for, once again, thinking jointly about oil", he said.

An announcement is expected later on Wednesday on a partnership between Aramco and a liquefied natural gas project in Russia, Dmitriev said. "Therefore the role that RDIF plays in Russian Federation and the role that PIF [the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia - TASS] and Saudi Aramco play from our side, introducing companies to each other, pursuing investment deals, de-risking investment through better information, making sure that market exists for their products can not be overemphasized", the minister noted.

Falih said he was confident that cooperation between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its non-OPEC allies will continue to stabilize oil markets. Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation have through 2017 undertaken the lion's share of output curbs of around 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) and have agreed to an extension to the end of 2018.

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