Russia, Saudi Energy Ministers Discussed Oil Demand, Production, Shale
NIZHNY NOVGOROD, Russia, Oct 6 (Reuters) – Russia and Saudi Arabia discussed the situation on the oil market last week and agreed to continue consultations, exchanging views on demand, production and shale oil, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters on Tuesday.
Even though the oil price has halved since last year on oversupply, Russia, the world's top oil producer, has refused to cooperate with OPEC, where Saudi Arabia is the leading producer.
Both OPEC and Russia are instead increasing production in a move to defend market share.
Novak did say on Saturday that Russia was ready to meet with OPEC and non-OPEC producers to discuss the market and his comments have supported prices, although analysts have warned that relations may suffer over the two sides' different positions on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's future.
Novak, who was in Turkey last week for a G20 energy ministers meeting, said he did not see a risk that relations between Russia and Saudi Arabia would worsen and said he had discussed global oil markets with Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi.
"We discussed the situation on the market in Istanbul, held consultations, exchanged views on demand, production, the shale oil revolution, (and) agreed to continue consultations," Novak said.
Novak added that a meeting of the Russia-Saudi Arabia intergovernmental commission was scheduled for the end of October or the beginning of November.
OPEC's Secretary-General Abdullah al-Badri said on Tuesday that the oil exporter group should work together with producers outside OPEC to tackle the oil surplus in the global market.
Novak's first deputy, Alexei Texler, said last week that Russia would stick to its plans not to cooperate with OPEC.
(Reporting by Olesya Astakhovain Riyadh; Writing by Katya Golubkova; Editing by Jason Bush and Susan Fenton)
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