Russia and Saudi Arabia discussed the oil market last week and agreed to continue consultations, Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak said on October 6.
Russia, currently the world's biggest oil producer, in the past has refused to cooperate with rival Saudi Arabia -- the top producer in the oil cartel OPEC -- despite a collapse in oil prices that has crushed Russia's economy and government revenues in the last year.
But Novak said for the first time this weekend that Russia is ready to meet with the cartel in a remark that helped drive up oil prices on October 5.
His revelations of the talks with Saudi Arabia in remarks to reporters in Nizhy Novgorod on October 6 lifted prices further. Brent, the global benchmark for crude, broke through the $50 barrier in London trading and ended up $2.67 at $51.92 a barrel.
Novak said he exchanged views with Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi in Turkey last week on oil demand, production, and the shale oil revolution in the United States, and the two agreed to continue consulting.