Saudi Arabia: One-time ‘swing producer’ becomes ‘swayed producer’ of oil

Oil prices have reached the $70-a-barrel mark, their highest since December 2014, but neither Saudi Arabia nor Russia is shouting with glee. That’s because it remains to be seen whether the oil market has achieved price stability for awhile.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih this month spoke of the “fragility of the market.” He noted that a much-anticipated initial public offering of Saudi Aramco stock will take place “when the time is right,” but declined to say about whether the IPO could be postponed to 2019.

OPEC and non-OPEC powers such as Russia worked out a volume-cut deal last year that has played a key role in boosting prices. Al-Falih emphasized the importance of the deal, and hinted that it ought to be extended beyond 2018. But Russia has shown little enthusiasm for extending it…


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