Aramco signs five key deals with Russian firms

Aramco signs five key deals with Russian firms”

Saudi Aramco's current refining capacity is 5 million b/d, which it plans to boost to 8 million to 10 million b/d, integrated with petrochemicals, Nasser said. "Russian companies can play a big role in terms of participation in these investments", Nasser said.

A number of investment deals announced between Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia on Thursday also supported investors' positive mood, BCS added. The two companies are considering joint projects in oil refining in both Russia and overseas, as well as trading, according to the Russian energy minister.

Russia's energy giant Gazprom and Saudi Aramco have signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in gas projects, including in production of liquefied natural gas (LNG), according to a Gazprom press release published on Friday.

He added that while Aramco had previously focused on producing and processing gas within the kingdom, "now we are opening the door to go internationally, and there is a partnership that can be evaluated between us and Russian companies".

Nasser said Saudi Arabia was also hoping to build greater research partnerships with Russian Federation.

MOU with Gazprom Neft - Technology and R&D collaboration: The MoU with Gazprom Neft (a subsidiary of Gazprom and Russia's fourth largest oil producer) will involve technology and R&D collaboration as well as training.

Nasser outlined a number of areas for potential collaboration with Russian companies in industrial localization; global gas; downstream petrochemicals; technology, research and innovation; trading; and climate change and carbon management.

"Considering the large oil and gas resources possessed by our two countries, we also have a common interest in strengthening oil's position and there are numerous to collaborate in these areas", he said. "We have a $1 billion investment in climate change initiatives for research to reduce our carbon footprint".

Other deals include a $1 billion fund to invest in energy projects and Saudi investment in Russian toll roads, including a new one in Moscow to relieve congestion.

But if USA shale is the culprit in Taylor's short-term scenario, both Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia seemed eager to downplay their concern: Alexander Novak, energy minister for Russian Federation, told CNBC that the fact his country has reduced its crude production is proof that the former Soviet Union isn't trying to quash US shale: he said the output reduction has raised prices and helped shale production develop.

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