Saudi foreign relations

Among the oil market's many uncertainties, a variable receiving too little attention is the most important supplier. Although Saudi Arabia ranks second behind Russia in production of crude oil and feels the third-ranking producer, the US, catching up, the kingdom still holds the commanding position for potential. It can, according to the International Energy Agency, produce 12.4 million b/d of crude oil. Of that potential, about 2.6 million lately has been idle. No other oil-producing country has anywhere near that much spare capacity; most have none. Control over so much discretionary oil supply gives Saudi Arabia powerful leverage in international relations. New competitive and geopolit...

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