Saudis move to push oil prices higher; break from past policy

Saudis move to push oil prices higher; break from past policy

[Ed. – Well, OK.  Good luck with that.  They may get prices up a little, but these days, that will mainly put money in American producers’ pockets.  U.S. production will continue to set a cap on how high prices can go.]

Saudi Arabia is maneuvering to push oil prices up to at least $80 a barrel this year, shifting away for now from its long-time role as a stabilizing force in global energy markets.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the country’s day-to-day ruler, is behind the move, aimed at raising revenue as his government seeks to carry out a wide-ranging economic overhaul, senior Saudi officials said.

The Saudis already have helped drive oil prices up nearly 50% in the past year—to nearly $74 a barrel on Friday for Brent crude—by engineering a large output cut with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia.

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By aiming to force prices even higher, Prince Mohammed is stepping away from a compact that has defined the kingdom’s foreign relations for decades—offering stability in oil prices in exchange for security assistance from the U.S. and other big energy consumers.

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