Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Al-Naimi, at a press conference in Moscow yesterday with Russian Minister of Energy Igor Yusufov, said Saudi Arabia welcomes the return of Iraq to the international oil market, adding that Iraq will remain an effective member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). He went on to highlight the stability of the global oil market, commenting that there is nothing to prompt concern, and reiterating that the optimum price range for a barrel of oil is U.S. $20 to $28.
Russia's Energy Minister agreed that a sudden rise in oil prices does not serve the interests of any party, and confirmed that both Saudi Arabia and Russia, in their capacity as the most important oil producing countries, are shouldering their responsibilities and working to preserve reasonable and stable prices. Gas exploration and joint investment in the oil sector has been an important topic at the ongoing talks between Saudi and Russian officials during the current state visit to the Russian Federation by Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz. The two sides have agreed to hold periodic meetings of the joint Saudi-Russian commission, starting early next year. The two countries have also agreed to avoid dual taxation and protect reciprocal investments.