Saudi-Russia warming yields collaboration

JSC Gazprom Neft and Saudi Aramco signed a memorandum of cooperation on oil and gas as Saudi King Salman met with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a 3-day visit signaling a warming of relations between the world’s two top producers of crude oil.

JSC Gazprom Neft and Saudi Aramco signed a memorandum of cooperation on oil and gas as Saudi King Salman met with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a 3-day visit signaling a warming of relations between the world’s two top producers of crude oil.

Other cooperation agreements were expected.

Long-tense relations, aggravated by divergent allegiances in the Syrian civil war, began relaxing last year as the countries collaborated to limit oil supply in support of crude prices.

Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman, the king’s favorite son, visited Moscow in May seeking Russian investment in projects related to Vision 2030, a program he instigated to modernize the Saudi economy and move away from dependence on oil.

The memorandum between Gazprom Neft and Aramco envisions collaboration in drilling and workover technologies, improvements to pumping systems, and development of large-scale nonmetal pipes.

Gazprom Neft said the companies also plan to discuss collaboration in research and development and engineering. The companies also might collaborate on production of oil field equipment in Russia or Saudi Arabia.

During Salman’s visit, the governments were expected to establish a $1 billion fund for energy investments and discuss other areas of cooperation.

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