Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Saudi Arabia in October, the Kingdom’s Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said Monday.
Al-Falih, who was in Moscow for talks with his Russian counterpart, said Saudi companies were thinking about taking part in a methanol plant project in Russia’s east, the news agency reported.
The energy minister’s visit arrives amid increased economic cooperation between the two countries and discussion among OPEC members about oil supplies.
Al-Falih said Russia was the only remaining oil exporter still undecided on the need to extend the global output deal between OPEC and its allies until the end of the year, TASS news agency reported on Monday. OPEC have curbed supplies since January to prop up prices.
Al-Falih said both Russia and Saudi Arabia, along with the OPEC+ group, were working to take “preventive” measures to avoid sharp oil price declines.
In an interview with TASS, Al-Falih said there was disagreement in Russia about whether to extend the output curbs at a policy meeting in Vienna in the coming weeks.
“So, I think the remaining country to jump on board now is Russia. I will wait for the Russian dynamics to work themselves out,” Al-Falih was quoted as saying.
“There is a debate obviously within the country about the exact volume that Russia should be producing in the second half,” he said.
Al-Falih said he and Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak may have final opportunity to talk about the deal this month at a G20 meeting in Japan before OPEC and its allies meet in Vienna.
Novak said there is still a risk that oil producers pump out too much crude and prices fall sharply, recommending Moscow might support the extension of output cuts.
Separately, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said oil prices could fall as low as $30 per barrel if OPEC and its allies did not extend the curbs .
“As far as such a scenario is concerned, this is not ruled out. A lot depends, of course, on the market situation in the second half of the year, in the third quarter , on the supply and demand balance,” Novak told a media briefing, sitting alongside Al-Falih.
He also cited trade wars and sanctions as impacting on factors.
“Indeed, there are big risks of over-production. But on the whole . . . we need to analyse deeper and look at how the events will develop in June in order to take a balanced decision at the joint OPEC+ meeting in July.”
Putin said last week Russia and OPEC disagreed over the fair price for oil, but that they would take a joint decision at the policy meeting.