Russian, Saudi Oil Ministers Discuss Market Situation

Russian, Saudi Oil Ministers Discuss Market SituationRussian, Saudi Oil Ministers Discuss Market Situation

Russia and Saudi Arabia discussed the oil market situation 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 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, Reuters reported. Both OPEC and Russia are instead increasing production 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 the crisis in Syria.

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," he said.

Novak noted 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 the oil exporter group should work together with producers outside OPEC to tackle oil surplus.

Novak's first deputy, Alexei Texler, said last week that Russia would stick to its plans not to cooperate with OPEC.