Filling in for Iran, Keeping a leash on MbS, Musk as a persona non-grata in Riyadh, Libya’s impossible elections … and more
The billion-dollar question for the month is definitely who will fill in the gap for the Iranian oil that is about to be removed from the market due to another phase of U.S. sanctions. The consensus among hedge funds is that the Saudis won’t be able to, despite the fact that Riyadh keeps telling Washington that it can fill the lion’s share of the gap.
Last week, there have been rumors in the region that Saudi Arabia and the UAE—both facing a bit of a cash crunch—are actually seeking to push oil prices higher and may be coordinating efforts to miss production targets to that end. While the wider oil community in the region has expressed the opinion that the Saudi’s may not be able to increase production to the extent that they have claimed, typically, the Kingdom has 1.5-2 million barrels per day of spare capacity meant to manage the market. However, that spare capacity—which is the subject of debate—cannot be kept up indefinitely.
Reports that emerged this week citing unnamed sources claim that the Saudis and Russians had already agreed (without the rest of OPEC) at the end of September to “quietly” raise output through December to keep oil prices under control.
This is a very delicate balancing act for the Saudis. They would like the extra cash that high oil prices…