Russia and Saudi Arabia sign agreement on oil and gas cooperation

Russia and Saudi Arabia have agreed to exercise joint control over the dynamics of prices for raw materials on foreign markets, Russian Energy Minister Igor Yusufov told reporters today. According to him, the corresponding agreement on oil and gas cooperation between the two countries envisages, among other things, coordination of oil product supplies onto international markets and implementation of joint petrochemical projects, Rossiya (Russia) television reported. Under the agreement, a related joint task force will be set up. In addition, the minister said that in the near future the two countries would sign a number of important documents, in particular an agreement on mutual protection of investments and avoiding double taxation.

Yusufov mentioned that the Saudi Arabian Crown Prince, who is now on an official visit to Russia, had propounded "a gas initiative". The minister spelled out that the initiative included joint exploration of gas deposits, making use of gas for desalinating sea water, the construction of gas pipelines, gas power stations and petrochemical industrial facilities. The total cost of the projects is estimated at $20m to $25m, Yusufov specified.

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