Assessments

Saudi Arabia Will Have to Accept Being an Oil Price 'Taker'

Greg Priddy
Director, Global Energy and Middle East, Stratfor
May 20, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
An image of a Saudi flag overlaying an oil pumpjack. 

An image of a Saudi flag overlaying an oil pumpjack. 

(Shutterstock)

As COVID-19 saps oil demand, the economic fallout will likely leave Saudi Arabia back in the role of "price taker," as the kingdom's new austerity measures strongly imply Riyadh recognizes it will eventually need to adjust its spending habits to the global oil market instead of the other way around. With no immediate recovery in sight, Saudi Arabia will likely find itself drawn toward modestly raising oil production in tandem with Russia in order to gradually regain and then expand its market share, rather than relying on its tried-and-true method of cutting output to force higher prices. This, however, will require coordinating the gradual unwinding of current OPEC+ production cuts. ...

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