RIYADH, 7 November 2004 — Saudi Arabia and Russia will jointly sponsor an international energy forum in February next year to map out an effective strategy for regulating the oil market and strengthening security measures at oil installations and during transportation as part of a comprehensive energy security program.
This was disclosed to Arab News by Russian Ambassador Dr. Andrei Baklanov, who said the venue of the forum would be Riyadh. Oil and gas experts from the Kingdom, Russia and other countries would pool their ideas for a coordinated approach to the problem of galloping oil prices hovering in the 50 per barrel range. "The oil market is overheating right now. This could create a situation leading to a sharp decline in the oil price. This is not in the interest of the oil-exporting countries. There is a need for a mechanism to make accurate forecasts of the oil market. To this end, the International Energy Forum Secretariat in Riyadh should be strengthened to make it a reliable means of forecasting the oil market," the ambassador said.
He pointed out that IEF's secretary-general, Dr. Ernie Walther, was in Moscow recently on the occasion of Gas and Oil Week in Moscow. Dr. Walther took the opportunity to prepare an agenda for the Riyadh forum.