OREANDA-NEWS. February 16, 2018. Russia and Saudi Arabia are seeking ways to amplify the success they’ve had working together to manage the oil market by reaching new energy deals, including one on liquefied natural gas.

Signing a memorandum, Russian gas producer Novatek and Saudi oil giant Aramco agreed to consider teaming up on Novatek’s Arctic LNG-2 project, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters in Sochi. Specifics may be prepared ahead of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in May, he said.

President Vladimir Putin made a priority of expanding Russia’s LNG industry last year, and the country is seeking partners for projects to catch up with top producers Qatarand Australia. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is looking from Russia to East Africa and the US for gas assets as state-held Aramco, known formally as Saudi Arabian Oil, hunts for ways to meet soaring domestic demand.

Aramco is “seriously” studying investing in the planned Arctic LNG plant, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falihtold reporters Wednesday in Riyadh at a joint briefing with his Russian counterpart. Saudi King Salman is keen to strengthen energy ties between the two nations following their oil-cuts collaboration that helped drive crude’s recovery, according to Al-Falih.

The $20 billion Arctic LNG-2 plant, seen starting in 2022 or 2023, will be Novatek’s second liquefied-gas project after Yamal LNG, which began output late last year. The Russian company is also interested in building a regasification terminal in Saudi Arabia, Novak said in Sochi.