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Head of Russia’s Investment Fund: Cooperating with Riyadh to Form Global Gas Market

Head of Russia’s Investment Fund: Cooperating with Riyadh to Form Global Gas Market

Thursday, 17 January, 2019 - 08:30
CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) Kirill Dmitriev. Asharq Al-Awsat
Riyadh - Fateh al-Rahman Youssef
Chief Executive Officer of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) Kirill Dmitriev has expressed Moscow’s interest to expand cooperation with Riyadh in the gas sector.

In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, Dmitriev stressed that expanded cooperation between Saudi Aramco, Russia’s Novatek and RDIF would form the global gas market.

He noted that Russian-Saudi cooperation will not be limited to drilling in Russia’s Arctic, stressing that companies will collaborate to create balance in the global gas market in terms of price stability, logistics, logistic coordination, transformation and technological advancement.

A planned joint gas project in the Arctic will increase demand for gas by 40 percent, an estimated five trillion cubic meters, by 2035, he said.

Joint gas projects form the most important pillars of bilateral cooperation between the two countries, said Dmitriev, pointing that his country is the largest producer of natural gas in the world while Saudi Aramco seeks to expand gas production in the near future.

During Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud’s visit to Russia in 2017, RDIF, Aramco and the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) established a one-billion-dollar joint investment platform to invest in the energy sector, he stated.

So “partners are now looking at a series of projects involving large-scale investments in the field of oilfield services that link the States of the Russian Federation.”

The investments include drilling and using Electrical Submersible Pumps (ESP), manufactured by Novomet, for the stages that rely on using new technology in the oil and gas industry, the CEO explained.

According to Dmitriev, partners are currently considering the possibility of launching a joint venture in the area of natural gas in the Arctic, which is one of the world’s largest investment projects in the ambitious LNG sector.

He expected this project to be highly beneficial for investors due to its low cost and the presence of high-quality reserves.

In regards to the value and size of these investments, Dmitriev said it is too early for such estimates.

“However, Russia’s Novatek has worked on operating the current project with an estimated 90 percent stake, with 10 percent owned by Total.”

He pointed out that the Russian company has earlier announced its willingness to sell part of its stake to interested investors and reduced its partnership to 60 percent.

Parties are currently working in a very diligent and professional manner in this project, Dmitriev stressed, saying that when completed, its value will be known, paving way for discussions on its size.

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