King Salman
© Sergei Karpukhin / Reuters
Saudi Arabia's King Salman walks past Russian honour guards during a welcoming ceremony upon his arrival at Vnukovo airport outside Moscow, Russia October 4, 2017
Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said the partnership between Moscow and Riyadh has inspired unprecedented cooperation from 24 oil-producing states, including Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries members and non-OPEC nations.

"It has breathed back life into OPEC which found itself, quite frankly, unable to swing its production as supply was persistently high in 2014 and global inventories were steadily rising ahead of demand," he said at the Russia-Saudi investment forum in Moscow.

The minister is optimistic about the potential rebalancing of the oil market and added that prices would be determined by the market.

"Prices are ultimately for the markets to determine based on marginal cost of production and expectations of supply and demand. But as I think of fundamentals I am more optimistic than I have been in the last two or three years, demand is healthy around the world in developed and developing countries," said the minister.

Al-Falih added that the deal reached by OPEC and non-OPEC countries in November 2016 in Vienna notably helped to stabilize oil prices. The agreement remains in force until the end of March 2018.

Russia & Saudi Arabia sign billion dollar deals during King's visit

Russian President Vladimir Putin has met with the King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. It is the first state visit to Russia by a reigning Saudi monarch and marks a new level of relations between the countries.

According to the Kremlin, "the leaders will consider joint steps to further develop bilateral cooperation in the trade, economic, investment and cultural-humanitarian areas."

Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) in cooperation with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) is considering joint work on 25 investment projects in various areas, according to Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak.

"At the moment, RDIF and Saudi Arabia's Investment Fund have implemented projects worth over $1 billion. Currently, 25 more projects in various areas of the economy are under consideration," Novak said.

One of the major projects is the creation of joint scientific centers to develop and implement new technologies, according to the minister.

"In particular, we have welcomed the idea offered by the Saudis to create common research and development through cooperation between Saudi Aramco and Gazpromneft," said Novak.

Saudi state oil firm Saudi Aramco signed a deal with Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and gas processing and petrochemicals company Sibur on joint projects in the area of oil refining.

The two countries also agreed to cooperate in nuclear energy, agriculture, information technology; trade, investments and social development.

"We have a vast potential for developing cooperation in nuclear power. Saudi Arabia plans to launch a major nuclear power program," said Russian Energy Minister and Co-Chairman of the Russian-Saudi Intergovernmental Commission Aleksandr Novak.

"Nuclear power may become one of the basic sources and an extra catalyst for the development of various industries and innovation technologies in Saudi Arabia," he added.

Relations between the two countries have reached a "fundamentally new level recently," Novak said.

"Parliamentary contacts show good dynamics and the two countries business circles maintain intensive dialogue," he said, adding that that significant progress has been made.

According to Novak, for the first time a substantial delegation from Saudi Arabia, including about 200 representatives and 85 CEOs of large companies has come to Russia.

"Eighty-five heads of the largest companies flew to Russia to establish links with Russian businesses and expand ties in all areas," the minister said.

Novak added that work is underway on a roadmap for the mid-term development of trade, economic, scientific and technical cooperation between Moscow and Riyadh.

Vladimir Putin and King Salman are expected to focus on extending the commitment to cut crude oil output production, which has helped prop up oil prices.

On Wednesday, Putin said he believes the oil cut agreement between OPEC and non-OPEC countries could be extended beyond March 2018.

The next OPEC meeting is due to take place in Vienna at the end of November.