Russian Federation eyes multi-million-dollar Saudi investment deals, Aramco IPO

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Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia, the two largest oil-producing countries in the world, put aside their differences to form an alliance as they attempted to support crude prices despite increased output from United States shale drillers, engineering a global accord to dial down output until the end of the year.

Russia is seeking to finalise multi-million-dollar investment deals with Saudi Arabia in the next three months including partnerships with state oil giant Aramco, Russia's top state investment officer said on Wednesday.

The move is aimed at strengthening energy ties between the two major oil producers.

Saudi Arabia plans to sell 5 percent of its crown jewel Aramco in what would be the world's largest IPO in history. "We believe this is very good for, once again, thinking jointly about oil," he said.

"I think today you will also see a big announcement between Saudi Aramco and a major LNG project in Russian Federation, but let's wait for the announcement", he said, adding that Russian Federation enjoyed seeing Saudi Arabia's energy minister Khalid al-Falih visiting the Arctic Yamal LNG project launched in late 2017.

Al-Falih said Saudi Arabia is also working with Russian Federation on nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, adding the issue of climate change was also discussed.

Crude inventories rose by 1.8 million barrels in the week to February 9, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said, an increase that was less than analysts' forecasts.

Earlier on Wednesday, King Salman had received in Riyadh Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak to discuss bilateral cooperation in the energy sectors, especially in restoring balance in the oil markets.

Oil prices were stable on Wednesday, supported by a statement that Saudi crude output would drop in March, healthy economic growth and on a weakening US dollar.

Last year, RDIF and PIF created the Russia-Saudi Investment Fund (RSIF) to pursue investment opportunities, primarily in Russia, and in joint ventures that can help Saudi Arabia's economic diversification.

"Market volatility is a common concern for producers and consumers, and the Kingdom is committed to mitigating this volatility and moderating its negative impacts by responsibly meeting its pledges" under an OPEC-led supply cut deal.

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