Saudi ‘Whatever It Takes’ Runs into Oil Market's ‘Whatever’

This isn’t the first time Saudi Arabia has deployed the whatever-it-takes weapon to beat back the bears. In May 2017, energy minister Khalid Al-Falih used that exact phrase when Brent crude had slipped below $50 a barrel, a Bloomberg View reported. It sparked a brief rally, followed by a brief dip again, that ultimately segued into a sustained march toward $86 by the fall of 2018. It’s different this time. As bleak as things seemed to OPEC in May 2017, the organization actually had some favorable trends going its way. One of these was its own hesitancy to deliver on the production cuts agreed in late 2016. Apart from Saudi Arabia and the involuntary “discipline” of Venezuela and Angola, the rest of the group didn’t collectively get with the program until toward the end of 2017. Read more