Russia looks to invest in Saudi Aramco as bonds with Riyadh grow ever deeper

Russian pension funds are considering investing in Saudi Aramco when it lists its stock in a move to strengthen the partnership between the world’s two top oil producers, the head of the Russia Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) Krill Dmitriev said this week, as Saudi’s Energy Minister Khalid al Falih predicted that the two country’s oil alliance with Russia would last for “decades and generations.”
“We see great interest in the Aramco IPO from Russian pension funds as well as from our Chinese partners,” Dmitriev told Reuters  as – in what may have been a coordinated plan to send a message to Washington as it considers imposing further sanctions on Moscow – al Falih told the Financial Times  that bilateral relationship between Saudi Arabia and Russia had emerged as a key factor in OPEC’s drive to curb stockpiles and boost global oil prices. There was an “acceptance that we need to extend this framework of cooperation…beyond the current agreement,” he said, speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos.
Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al Falih at Davos 2018While the oil market was “on the way” to balancing, he was “still anxious about the fragility of the market”, and maybe justifiably; some analysts are now suggesting that the oil producing countries’ efforts to shore up prices could be about to backfire and that 2018 could be a profitable one for the shale industry. 
An alliance between Riyadh and Moscow would once have been considered unthinkable, but the emergence three years ago of US shale and the oil price crash it triggered caused a major rethink and has subsequently led to further economic tie-ups and – despite Russia’s support for Iran, Saudi’s principal rival for Middle East hegemony – a closer alignment foreign policy, as Saudi Arabia seeks an alternative strategic backer to the US.

Source: reuters