Saudi Aramco plans expansion in India with new unit

Mohammed Barkindo secretary general of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, speaks during the 2017 CERAWeek by IHS Markit conference in Houston Texas U.S. on Tuesday

Oil prices rose about 2 percent on Thursday as signs Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation would limit production through next year pushed the USA benchmark back above $50 a barrel.

"We are well aware that the development of cooperation between Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia serves not only our common interests but also stability in the region because Saudi Arabia is one of the most influential countries in the Middle East and the whole world", she stated.

The agreement was announced as King Salman, who is on the first official trip to Russia by a Saudi monarch, and Russian President Vladimir Putin held talks at the Kremlin. According to representatives of the Kremlin, issues of defense cooperation between Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia are going to be discussed as well.

Al-Falih noted that Aramco's IPO will be used as a catalyst for the opening up of the Saudi economy.

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Both sides are involved in the conflict, but on opposing sides.

On Thursday, Putin received the monarch in the gold-decorated St. Andrew Hall, one of the grandest spaces in the Kremlin, attended by soldiers in ceremonial dress and with an orchestra playing their countries' national anthems.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Thursday that Moscow would support new countries joining the agreement to restrict oil supply.

King Salman's visit to Russian Federation has been widely interpreted as a sign of Russia's growing influence in the Middle East.

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Moreover, besides political equations, this visit will give a major flip to bilateral business as around 100 Saudi businessmen are accompanying the King to Moscow and a $1bn joint oil investment fund is expected to be agreed.

Russian analysts say that King Salman is seeking to diversify Saudi alliances because of uncertainty over Donald Trump's Middle East polices. That marked a shift for the kingdom, which buys most of its military kit from the United States and Britain.

"Last time I checked, foreign ministers and leaders from other parts of the world are allowed to get on airplanes and go meet with their counterparts in other countries". "Falling back to the old scheme with decent US shale-supply growth expected for next year is not an option". "We think they're going to stick to the pact and over the coming months they are likely to extend it - hopefully for six months and not three months".

Experts believe, however, that the alliance between Moscow and Riyadh may change the current situation on the world oil market. The heads of the countries of the Middle East maintain close ties with Moscow.

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