Don't expect Vladimir Putin to give up newfound role as OPEC's 'co-pilot'

Putin says 2018 World Cup venues on track despite delays

Saudi Aramco and Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) is expected to sign an MoU with Russia's biggest petrochemical firm Sibur to examine opportunities for building petrochemical plants in the two countries. During the cold war, the Saudis helped arm Afghan rebels fighting against the Soviet invasion.

Dmitriev also told CNBC the evolving relationship was about more than supporting the oil price.

Despite this, other factors weighed on oil prices, including the return to production of Libya's Sharara oilfield after an armed brigade forced a two-day shutdown.

So far, that deal is holding.

The announcement of the Saudi investment comes as the Saudi Minister of Energy and Industry, Khalid Al-Falih, claimed that the cooperation between the Kingdom and Russian Federation has "breathed life back into [Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries] OPEC", which would help raise the price of oil for the benefit of both countries.

OPEC ministers attending the Moscow event said they were considering extending the deal or making a deeper cut. From January to June this year, bilateral trade decreased under 16.5 million dollars, according to the Kremlin. In 2015 the countries' sovereign wealth funds agreed to $10 billion in investments.

Food security is a major concern for Saudi Arabia, which stopped local production of livestock feed and wheat due to water scarcity.

That is the contention of Helima Croft, global head of commodity strategy for RBC Capital Markets, who said in a research note that president Vladimir Putin is advancing his interests in the oil market by putting his country in the midst of geopolitical tension gripping oil-producing nations such as Venezuela, Iran, and Iraq.


He said the two states would shortly unveil a Saudi investment in Russian toll roads, illustrating their joint interest in infrastructure projects.

"We have many options for Venezuela, including a possible military option if necessary", Trump said.

What is behind Saudi king's "historic" Moscow visit?

More recently, tensions were high over the war in Syria. The Russian president spoke ahead of meetings with the leaders of key Opec members, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

However, relations have begun to improve in recent years and Salman's heir, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has held several meetings with Putin.

Saudi Arabia's energy minister said that Russian Federation has helped to breathe new life into OPEC and that shale can be a major contributor to the market in years to come.

"Bullish comments from the Russian and Saudi Energy ministers are helping arrest the recent decline in oil prices", said Stephen Brennock, analyst at London brokerage PVM Oil Associates.

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