Saudis face swing-supply strains in 2004

10/27/2003
Several signs point to the likelihood that oil prices have topped out this year and face growing downward pressure in 2004.And barring any wild cards—such as Venezuela or Nigeria—the herculean task of balancing oil markets next year falls largely to Saudi Arabia.It's way too early to talk of an oil price collapse next year; in fact, the betting should go against that possibility, given the enviable track record on price defense (led by the Saudis) that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has demonstrated since 1999. The latest such success was the defense of a $25/bbl price target for the OPEC basket of crudes embodied in OPEC's recent surprise decision t...
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