Putin says extending OPEC deal until end of 2018 is 'possible'

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Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih and other OPEC ministers have suggested prolonging the deal by months but not until the end of 2018.The participants are showing more confidence that the supply cuts, which began in January, are starting to erode a glut.

Saudi Arabian King Salman bin Abdul Aziz harshly criticised Iran on his first visit to Russian Federation, which has close relations with the Islamic republic. The agreement remains in force until the end of March 2018.

King Salman of Saudi Arabia will arrive in Russian Federation this week to conduct the first official visit to the country by a Saudi king, a senior Kremlin aide said Monday.

King Salman, stuck on his golden escalator.

LONDON, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Oil prices steadied on Thursday on expectations that Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation would extend production cuts, although record US exports and the return of supply from a Libyan oilfield dragged on the market.

Moscow/London - President Vladimir Putin said Russian Federation may agree to extend a deal with oil cartel Opec to curb oil supplies to the end of 2018, though he would wait to make a decision until nearer the end of the existing pact in March. On Thursday, Putin received the monarch in the gold-decorated St. Andrew Hall, one of the grandest spaces in the Kremlin, attended by soldiers in ceremonial dress and with an orchestra playing their countries' national anthems. Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia have often competed for energy market dominance.

On or hand, two countries continue to cooperate in efforts conducted by OPEC and non-OPEC countries for balancing of oil prices.

"At the moment, RDIF and Saudi Arabia's Investment Fund have implemented projects worth over $1 billion". Top officials, energy ministers and leaders of sovereign wealth funds were due to attend, including Amin Nasser, CEO of Saudi oil giant Aramco.

Tass reported Thursday that Saudi Arabia was interested in buying Russia's S-400 air defense missile system.

Saudi Arabia does most of its trading with the United States but may be looking to diversify that.

At the same time, Riyadh, in common with Israel, will raise with Moscow its concern that these zones may guarantee a long-term presence for Iranian and Hezbollah troops inside Syria.

While Riyadh's ties with Washington remain solid, the new Saudi-Russian entente will be essential in bringing stability to a region in turmoil.