A joint Russian-Saudi investment fund is in the making and a Novatek Arctic LNG project could be the first to get funding.

Russian Minister of Energy Aleksandr Novak confirmed that the two countries are working on the establishment of a joint financial mechanism for investments in energy projects.

"We hope that this can be done shortly," Novak told news agency TASS.

The two countries' intensified cooperation includes plans for a visit by Saudi government officials to northern Siberia where Novatek is in the process of planning its second major Arctic LNG project. The Arctic LNG-2 is planned built in the Gydan Peninsula, on tundra on the eastern banks of the Ob Gulf. Nearby is the Yamal LNG, the grand project which is to come into production in 2017.

"We are actually planning such a fact-finding expedition, it will all depend on whether our Saudi colleagues will have time," Novak adds to TASS.

A similar visit was reportedly attempted organized in connection with Saudi energy minister Khalid A. Al-Falih's visit to the St. Petersburg Economic Forum in late May. Then, however, the trip was cancelled because of bad weather, Rambler News reports. Al-Falih is also chairman of national oil company Saudi Aramco.

"I told [him] about the plans of Novatek, we discussed possible cooperation and we offered then to consider participation in our perspective projects," Novatek leader Leonid Mikhelson told Rambler News.

Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defence Minister Mohammed bin Salman during a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, May 30, 2017. REUTERS/Pavel Golovkin/Pool/File Photo
Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defence Minister Mohammed bin Salman during a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, May 30, 2017. REUTERS/Pavel Golovkin/Pool/File Photo

The talks over the Arctic LNG-2 projects come as Novatek wins control over the license to the Gydan gas field. The license area holds an estimated 4.7 billion barrels of oil equivalents and is located near one of Novatek's other major deposits in the area, the Utrennoye license.

"The acquisition of the license to the Gydan Peninsula allows us to significantly boost the resource basis of Novatek in the Gydan Peninsula and take on the company's new grand LNG projects," Leonid Mikhelson says in a press release.

A high level of contacts have recently been pursued by Russia and Saudi Arabia. On May 30, Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Minister of Defense Muhammed bin Salman Al Saud paid a visit to Moscow where he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin.