• Saudi Arabia and Russian oil cooperation deepening into an alliance

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      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

In the oil world, the cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Russia over the last 18 months appears to be solidifying into a deep and lasting alliance. After an initial agreement to “act jointly” back in September 2016, the two countries (Saudi Arabia as part of OPEC) came to an agreement on production limits at the end of 2016, an agreement which was extended in 2017 to last into this year. The energy ministers of Saudi Arabia and Russia, Khalid al-Falih and Alexander Novak, met twice in January of this year, with Mr Falih telling reporters that he expected the alliance to last for “decades and generations”. It also appears that OPEC and Russia do not view US shale production as a fundamental disruptor of their businesses, with Mr Fatih saying “In the overall global supply demand picture, it’s not going to wreck the train”.  Whether this is true or not is uncertain, but the oil price is now at a three-year high at US$71 per barrel of Brent crude, something that will be at least a momentary joy for oil producers across the world.