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Russian energy minister satisfied with results of Russian-US working group’s meeting

December 07, 2013, 7:51 UTC+3 7
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WASHINGTON, December 7 (Itar-Tass) - Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak is satisfied with the results of his first personal working meeting with his US counterpart Ernest Moniz. Novak shared his impressions with the media at the end of the main working day of his visit to Washington.

“I believe that we shall be able to work pro-actively further on,” Novak said in response to a question from Itar-Tass, referring to interaction with the head of the US Department of Energy. Novak and Moniz are co-chairs of the working group for energy within the presidential commission for Russia-US cooperation. On Friday, they held a meeting of the working group, reviewed the progress achieved and mapped plans for the future. The decisions made are contained in a joint inter-departmental statement.

Novak recalled that Russian and US energy industry workers had quite a few joint projects to their credit - from the production of energy resources, including that on the continental sea shelf in the Arctic, to the creation of smart networks and smart cities, and measures to enhance the energy effectiveness of both countries’ economies. Here belongs possible cooperation in expanding the use of gas fuel for internal combustion engines, which both sides see as a priority.

Energy industry development forecasts were high on the agenda. Novak presented Russia’s forecast extending till 2040 and heard the opinion of US analysts. He described the exchange of views as constructive and interesting.

Of late, the United States authorities repeatedly referred to their country as one of the world’s largest energy producers.

Novak said Russia was first and foremost focused on the influence of these changes on the world energy markets. True, the growing production of shale oil and gas does influence the markets, Novak acknowledged. But there are also other factors, including the changing situation in the Middle East, the development of nuclear power, active production of liquefied natural gas and the possibility of transporting it to any parts of the world.

Forecasts in the sphere of production of shale energy resources were greatly different from the real state of affairs, so Novak warned against any hasty conclusions.

“There is no certainty about economic profitability, in particular, in other countries,” Novak said about the production of shale gas in the United States and other countries.

As for Russia, it may exceed this year’s oil and gas production targets. Coal production will remain unchanged. This year Russia is to produce 520 million tonnes of crude oil against 516 tonnes last year. The original target was set at 505-510 million tonnes.

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