Richard Melson

December 2005

Russia & OPEC

OPEC to hold talks with Russia today

MOSCOW: Top officials from OPEC and Russia will hold talks today to discuss future cooperation between the two giant oil exporters.

OPEC president Sheikh Ahmad Fahad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah who is also energy minister of Kuwait, and other members of the high-level OPEC delegation were scheduled to meet with Russian Energy and Industry Minister Viktor Khristenko and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Sheikh Ahmad noted that Russia was the world's second-leading oil exporter behind Saudi Arabia and a critical force in ensuring oil market stability.

According to the news agency, he also said that Russia could one day join the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and that whether it was a member or not Moscow had always worked closely with the cartel on pricing and
production policies.

The fact that Russia will take over as chairman of the Group of Eight (G-8) industrialized countries next year means that now is a particularly opportune moment to hold discussions with Moscow on the oil market, he added.


Russia and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) pledged on Monday to enhance their dialogue aimed at ensuring market stability and energy security.

During talks with visiting OPEC President Sheikh Ahmad Fahad Al- Ahmad Al-Sabah, who is also Kuwait's Energy Minister, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov hailed Russia's cooperation with Kuwait and OPEC and expressed the hope that cooperation with OPEC "will help reach balanced agreements, which meet the interests of both energy producers and consumers."

Energy security will figure high on the agenda of the upcoming summit of the Group of Eight (G-8) industrialized countries as Russia takes over the G-8 presidency on Jan. 1, Lavrov said.

Russia is the world's second-largest crude oil producer and exporter and the number-one gas producer and exporter.

At a meeting with Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko, where Russia and OPEC set up the framework of their energy dialogue, Sheikh Ahmad said an enhanced dialogue among producers, in particular between Russia and OPEC, "will benefit globally both producers and consumers, contribute immensely to market stability and improve energy security."

"It will assure consumers, especially those in developing countries with rising demand, of assured and reliable oil and gas supplies to fuel their economic development in the twenty first century," he said.

OPEC, founded in 1960 and headquartered in Vienna, groups 11 members: Saudi Arabia, Iran, Venezuela, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Nigeria, Libya, Indonesia, Algeria and Qatar.

Source: Xinhua

OPEC & Russia

December 27, 2005