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Saudi Arabia and the oil pricing wars of the Middle EastThe 70 percent drop in oil prices from their all-time highs in 2014 to the current lows of an average of $47 dollars per barrel is severely affecting all hydrocarbon producers, but especially Saudi Arabia. OPEC member states hope that cutting production would stabilize or even increase oil prices.Although its leadership, whether new Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih or Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, tries to encourage active investment in the oil markets, Saudi Arabia remains a price taker because its oil is still not freely traded on the open markets.That pits them against neighboring Middle Eastern rivals such as Iran and Iraq, but also GCC friends such as Kuwait and the UAE, other exporting countries, and oil trading houses.Nevertheless, even though Middle Eastern oil producers are unable to influence global benchmark prices, they continue to contribute to the decline of the final export prices of crude oil.
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