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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 14 December 2018

Saudi Aramco signs five agreements with Russian companies

Aramco chief executive sees more opportunities for tie ups between Russian and Saudi firms

Saudi's Aramco signed five memorandums-of-understanding (MOU) with Russian companies during the King Salamn's visit to Moscow. Hamad I Mohammed/ Reuters file
Saudi's Aramco signed five memorandums-of-understanding (MOU) with Russian companies during the King Salamn's visit to Moscow. Hamad I Mohammed/ Reuters file

Cooperation between Saudi Arabian and Russian companies can help create a sustainable energy future through business and operational initiatives driven by technology, research and innovation, Saudi Aramco chief executive Amin Nasser said after his company signed five agreements with Russian counterparts.

“We have already established eight research centres around the world that complement our main research facilities in Saudi Arabia," Mr Nasser said at a panel discussion at the Saudi-Russian Business Investment Forum in Moscow during Saudi Arabia's royal visit to Russia, according to an emailed statement from Aramco.

"Considering Russia’s considerable strengths in science and technology, as well as highly talented researchers, scientists and engineers, we are exploring collaboration in R&D field," he added. "Considering the large oil and gas resources possessed by our two countries, we also have a common interest in strengthening oil’s position and there are numerous to collaborate in these areas.”

Aramco, the world’s biggest energy company, signed five memorandums-of-understanding (MOU) with Russian companies during the royal visit.

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The oil company, along with the Saudi Public Investment Fund and the Russian Direct Investment Fund, signed an MOU for investment in energy services and manufacturing. Aramco also signed an MOU with the Russian gas company Gazprom to develop a business portfolio in international upstream gas.

An MOU was also signed with LITASCO, the Swiss-based international and marketing arm of Lukoil, one of Russia's largest oil companies.

The two other agreements were with Gazprom Neft for technology and R&D collaboration and training, and with the Russian Direct Investment Fund and SIBUR for the strategic marketing of petrochemicals.

Saudi Arabia plans to sell as much as 5 per cent of Aramco in an initial public offering, which is a seminal part of the kingdoms Vision 2030, as it vies to diversify its economy and reduce its dependence on oil in line with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's wider reform plans.

The listing which is set for 2018, may raise as much as $100 billion based on a $2 trillion valuation of the company, making it the largest offering ever globally to date.