UPDATE 1-Russia's Novak calls for closer cooperation with OPEC on natural gas

(Adds detail)

MOSCOW, Nov 3 (Reuters) - Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Tuesday it was important for Russia and members of the oil producing group OPEC to strengthen cooperation in the natural gas industry.

Cooperation between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and another energy group, the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), could be enhanced, Novak told an online conference of Russian and OPEC officials.

Russia has been an active member of the GECF, which some analysts dubbed a “gas OPEC”, and Moscow has also been working closely with OPEC on reducing crude output to boost oil prices.

Novak also told the OPEC-Russia Energy Dialogue, being hosted by the OPEC Secretariat, that a recovery of the global economy and oil market had been “difficult” in the face of uncertainties, including lockdowns in relation to the pandemic.

OPEC and other large oil producers led by Russia, a group known as OPEC+, meet on Nov. 30-Dec. 1 to decide on ways to stabilise the oil markets as demand has been hammered a slump in demand caused by the coronavirus crisis. (Reporting by Katya Golubkova, Olesya Astakhova and Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Edmund Blair)