Saudi Arabia Complains About OPEC+ Cheating on Quotas

Saudi Arabia Complains About OPEC+ Cheating on QuotasSaudi Arabia Complains About OPEC+ Cheating on Quotas

For the last year, Saudi Arabia has largely turned a blind eye to cheaters within the OPEC+ alliance, cutting its own output more than agreed to offset over-production from the likes of Iraq and even Russia. Now, Riyadh’s had enough.
Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, who took over from Khalid Al-Falih in September, will likely use his first OPEC meeting as Saudi oil minister next week to signal OPEC’s dominant producer is no longer willing to compensate for other members’ non-compliance, according to people familiar with the kingdom’s thinking, Bloomberg reported.
OPEC meets in Vienna on Dec. 5, followed by the larger OPEC+ alliance, which includes Russia, the next day.
“Saudi Arabia is taking a harder line than in the past,” said Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at consultant Energy Aspects Ltd. in London. 
“Riyadh is making very clear that they do not want to shoulder all the cuts alone.”
The willingness to tolerate cheating was a key part of the “whatever it takes” policy to support oil prices that Al-Falih set out in late 2016, borrowing a line from central banker Mario Draghi.
Al-Falih paid lip service to dealing with the cheating, trying to cajole OPEC+ nations to cut output as much as they had promised. 
But when his admonitions failed and oil prices faltered earlier this year, endangering the initial public offering of state oil producer Saudi Aramco, he simply decided to bear the burden. 

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