Saudi budget needs may demand $30/bbl floor

The evidence mounts that $30/bbl for its benchmark crude basket is the preferred price this year for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries—more particularly for the Saudis.Cuts unwarranted?The surprise decision by OPEC at its Feb. 10 ministerial meeting in Algiers to both reduce the group's current production over quota and to trim quotas by a further 1 million b/d left many analysts contending that such a combined 10% cut in the group's output was unwarranted, given surging demand and oil prices already comfortably above the OPEC $28/bbl price band ceiling.Maybe that was the point. Could the Saudis be jawboning up the price to take advantage of surging demand? O...

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