Russian Gazprom and Austrian OMV will form a joint coordinating committee to collaborate in the natural gas sector, Gazprom announced late on Thursday.

In the cooperation agreement signed by Alexey Miller, Gazprom chairman and Rainer Seele, OMV chairman in Russia's St. Petersburg, they confirmed they would continue to work towards strengthening the Russian-Austrian relationship in the gas sector for the long term.

"With the newly-signed memorandum, we will consolidate our joint activities with OMV in the areas of ongoing and potential cooperation into a single coordination center and bring it to a brand-new level," Miller said.

"We have already been receiving reliable gas supplies from Russia for more than 50 years. Thanks to our strong partnership with Gazprom, Russia has become one of our main partner countries, and now I am delighted that we are able to take a further step together. We will continue to expand our successful existing relationship not only on an economic level, but also on a cultural and social level," said Seele.

On June 5, an agreement between Gazprom Export and OMV Gas Marketing & Trading was signed to extend the existing Russian gas supply contract to Austria beyond the expiry in 2028 to 2040.

In 2017, Gazprom set a new record for gas exports to Austria at 9.1 billion cubic meters, a rise of around 50 percent, or 3 billion cubic meters compared to 2016 when 6.1 billion cubic meters of exports were made.

By Murat Temizer

Anadolu Agency

06.10.2018 · RUSSIA