Russia, Saudi mull gas market collaboration: press
The Saudi energy minister said during a Russian energy forum on October 15 that cooperation with Moscow on natural gas issues was under consideration, Russian news agency TASS reported.
Russia has a seat alongside Saudi Arabia in a group of members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies known as OPEC+. That group is adjusting crude oil production levels ostensibly to control market volatility.
Russian deputy prime minister Alexander Novak said he invited Saudi energy minister Abdel Aziz bin Salman to consider cooperation in the natural gas market.
"He offered to think about this issue, we discussed it within the framework of our bilateral meeting,” Novak told Tass. “And we came to a point where it would be nice to think about this topic. We will think about it."
The Saudi energy minister, for his part, seemed to suggest a mechanism similar to the Qatar-based Gas Exporting Countries Forum, a 19-member consortium of major natural gas producers, including Russia.
“If we look at the gas and coal market, we will see that they need such a regulator,” he said. “Perhaps they should just copy paste and repeat what we are doing in the oil market.”
Russian president Vladimir Putin this week sought to calm European nerves by offering assurances on energy security, but suggested the rise in natural gas prices had more to do with a lack of investing in fossil fuels than supply-side pressures.
"The European energy system is filled with vulnerabilities and this caused the crisis on the market," Putin said.
Moscow is prepared to work with its European partners to ease the crisis, he added, but if they want more gas, those partners should agree to long-term contracts.