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Russia Ready To Renew Energy Dialogue With The U.S.

Russia is ready to renew energy cooperation and dialogue with the United States, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told the newly appointed U.S. Ambassador to Russia, John J. Sullivan, during a meeting in Moscow on Thursday.

Novak and Ambassador Sullivan discussed the current state of the bilateral cooperation in the energy sector, Russia’s energy ministry said in a statement.

Russia’s energy ministry is ready to renew energy dialogue with the U.S., including in analyzing the oil and natural gas markets, Novak said on Thursday.

On Wednesday, Ambassador Sullivan presented his credentials to Russian President Vladimir Putin and said:

“As the U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation, I have been tasked by President Trump to improve our bilateral relationship and open channels of communication.”

Novak noted today the joint work of U.S. and Russian companies in Russia, but he also highlighted the fact that the U.S. sanctions on Russia’s energy sector hampered the development of mutually beneficial cooperation and are an “example of unfair competition.”   

The U.S. sanctions ban collaboration on Russian deepwater, Arctic offshore, or shale projects with Gazprom, Gazprom Neft, Lukoil, Surgutneftegas, and Rosneft. These are the largest energy firms in Russia, and they don’t have access to capital at western banks to develop such projects.

In the wake of the sanctions, many Western oil firms withdrew from joint ventures with Russian companies, which are now left without partnerships in technology needed to explore, drill, and potentially produce and process hard-to-extract oil and gas resources. 

Although Russian firms downplay the effects of the U.S. sanctions on their development plans, and although domestic companies are focused on developing in-house technology solutions to replace foreign-sourced tech, analysts believe that 100-percent local content technology in challenging projects would likely take years to implement.  

Russia’s own natural resources ministry admitted in 2018 that the sanctions had hampered natural gas project developments in the country.  

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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