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The Qatari Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development has struck a partnership deal with Russia’s Rosneft to set up a research center focused on the energy industry.
The announcement was made by a spokesman for the foundation during a visit by Qatar’s emir to Russia. “It is expected that the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development and the Rosneft company will sign an agreement on cooperation in science and education, which implies creation of a joint scientific center for research in the oil and energy sectors," the spokesman said, as quoted by Sputnik.
Separately, the ambassador of the emirate to Russia told the media that Doha would like to encourage Russian companies to bid for the development of gas fields in Qatar during tenders to be held in 2019 and 2020. The invitation is part of a wider one to Russian companies from various sectors to consider investing in the Qatari economy.
Bilateral relations between Russia and Qatar have been undergoing a boom recently, very likely related to the blockade imposed on the emirate by its Arab neighbors on alleged cozying up to Iran. Qatar has been weathering the effects of the blockade quite successfully, however, rendering it essentially meaningless.
The Qatar Investment Authority—the emirate’s sovereign wealth fund—has an interest worth US$2.5 billion in Rosneft. Initially the fund paid more than US$11 billion for a stake in the oil giant along with Glencore, but last year it sold most of it to China’s CEFC.
Now it seems that Doha is interested in more than just oil and gas ties. Earlier this year, Doha struck a deal with Moscow for the purchase of Russia’s S-400 air missile defense system. Interestingly, another Middle Eastern client for the system is none other than Saudi Arabia, the initiator of the blockade against Qatar.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.