Source: Press TV
The Oil Challenge
(cartoon by Mohammad Tahani, Arman daily)
An oil analyst says Saudi Arabia is enjoying a "perfect storm" in the crude market as prices plunged to their lowest level since May 2009.
"Having this perfect storm of events unwind gave them (Saudis) the chance to play the market share card at the OPEC meeting [in November]," Malcom Graham-Wood, independent oil and gas analyst, told CNBC.
Noting that Saudi officials do not care about a volatile oil market, Graham-Wood said, "By dint almost of an accident Saudi Arabia is seeing Russia and Iran face some financial pain, and [falling prices] are causing trouble in Canada and some parts of the US as well."
Latest global oil markets data showed that the prices continued their downward trend near closing time on Wednesday.
US oil for February delivery fell 85 cents to finish at USD 53.27 a barrel, while Brent crude for February delivery settled 57 cents lower at USD 57.33.
Oil prices have plunged about 50 percent since June on mounting supplies by certain countries such as Saudi Arabia, the largest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum-Exporting Countries (OPEC), and lackluster global economic growth.
Saudi Arabia has said that the OPEC will not cut oil production even if the price falls to USD 20 a barrel.
"Whether it goes down to $20 a barrel, $40, $50, $60, it is irrelevant," Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi told weekly magazine the Middle East Economic Survey (MEES) on December 24.
The minister defended a decision made last month by OPEC, whose lead producer is Saudi Arabia, to continue a daily production cap of 30 million barrels.
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