Market conditions cast doubt on alleged Saudi price deal

A media frenzy has erupted over suggestions that rulers of Saudi Arabia promised to moderate oil prices this summer in order to influence presidential elections in the US.Author Bob Woodward of the Washington Post sparked the controversy with his new book Plan of Attack and comments before its publication. The book, which chronicles events leading to the March 2003 invasion of Iraq, says the Saudi government hoped to "prime" the US economy with low oil prices and implies that the motive was to sway the election.In a 60 Minutes interview, Woodward said Saudi Arabia "could increase production several million barrels a day" this summer and bring down prices "very quickly," according to a tra...

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