Saudi Aramco Could Expand Role in Russian Energy: Novak
Saudi Aramco's increased involvement in Russian energy projects is "under active consideration," Russian deputy prime minister Alexander Novak said in a government statement published on December 20.
Novak, Russia's former energy minister, was commenting on the results of his visit to Saudi Arabia, during which he met Saudi energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman.
"Energy retains a key role in the cooperation between our countries, with significant potential in the creation of new technologies for oil production and enhanced oil recovery, the use of artificial intelligence and scientific co-operation," Novak said.
Russia and Saudi Arabia have worked closely since 2016 on managing global oil supply as lead members of the Opec+ coalition. Saudi Arabia has expressed interest in investing in key Russian energy projects and companies in recent years, but no deals have been finalised.
Aramco had been eyeing a stake in Novatek's Arctic LNG-2 project but the pair failed to reach an agreement and the Russian company brought on board France's Total and Chinese and Japanese partners instead. The Saudi oil giant also teamed up with the Saudi Public Investment Fund and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) in 2018 to buy 31% of Russian oilfield equipment supplier Novomet, but the deal fell through in March this year because of "market uncertainty," Russia's Kommersant newspaper reported at the time.