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The energy ministers of Saudi Arabia and Iran met on Thursday on the sidelines of an OPEC event in Vienna to discuss bilateral energy relations, Iranian media report.
Iran’s Oil Minister Javad Owji met with Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, on the sidelines of the OPEC International Seminar, the news service of Iran’s oil ministry, Shana, reported.
“The two ministers discussed the global oil markets’ status quo and future, and decisions needed for setting oil prices,” the news service said.
The Iranian and Saudi energy ministers also discussed investments in oil and gas, potential joint ventures, oil and gas trade, and the development of joint fields.
Saudi Arabia and Iran agreed in March to restore diplomatic relations and re-open embassies and missions in an agreement brokered by China after talks in Beijing.
The two regional powers in the Middle East, whose strained relations have exacerbated conflicts in Yemen and Syria, also agreed after the Beijing talks that the Saudi and Iranian foreign ministers will meet to implement the agreements, arrange for the return of the ambassadors, and discuss ways to enhance bilateral relations.
Both countries are members of OPEC and are some of its major oil producers, although Iran’s output has declined since 2018 when then-U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the so-called Iranian nuclear deal and re-imposed sanctions on the Iranian oil industry and exports. Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s largest producer, also leads the OPEC+ agreement with Russia on oil production quotas. Iran is exempted from quotas because of the sanctions against it.
Iran and Saudi Arabia share more than 28 oil and gas fields which have never been exploited due to disagreements in terms of the amount of exploitation and level of access. The two share Farzad A and B and Arash gas fields, with the Arash field also extending to Kuwait.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com