US Energy Chief to Meet Russian, Saudi Counterparts ahead of Iran Sanctions

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – US Energy Secretary Rick Perry will meet his counterparts from Saudi Arabia and Russia starting on Monday ahead of Washington’s renewed sanctions on Iran’s crude exports.

US Energy Chief to Meet Russian, Saudi Counterparts ahead of Iran Sanctions

Perry will meet Khalid al-Falih, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister, and other officials from the kingdom, in Washington on Monday morning, a US government source said, Reuters reported.

Perry, al-Falih and Darren Woods, the chief executive of ExxonMobil, were introduced on Saturday to the crowd at a Texas A&M University football game in College Station, Texas. All three attended at the university.

The US energy secretary will also meet with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak on Thursday in Moscow, according to the US source and a diplomatic source said.

Perry will be the most senior US official to visit Russia since President Donald Trump met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki in July to try to improve ties that have dipped to a post-Cold War low.

Perry and Novak, who last met in June in Washington, will likely discuss Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline project to carry Russian gas to Germany under the Baltic Sea. Trump and former US President Barack Obama have criticized the project, saying it would increase Russian influence in Europe, but Germany supports the pipeline.

Perry and Novak are also expected to discuss global oil markets in the context of cooperation between OPEC, of which Saudi Arabia is the largest producer, and non-OPEC countries, including Russia.

Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal with OPEC member Iran in May. His administration is due to re-impose sanctions on Iran’s oil shipments in November and is pushing consuming countries to cut their purchases of the oil to zero, although it may issue some waivers.

OPEC and non-OPEC officials will meet later this month to discuss proposals for sharing an oil-output increase, after the groups decided in June to boost output moderately.

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