Russia gets leverage from OPEC
For years, Saudi Arabia — the world’s top oil exporter, OPEC heavyweight, and traditional US ally — has dealt with Russia’s production through OPEC+, the larger group of oil-producing economies. But despite Western sanctions against Moscow, Riyadh has indicated that it will still continue to stand by Moscow as a member of the powerful alliance.
With Russia increasingly isolated, its oil production falling, and an EU ban on Russian oil in the pipeline, Brent crude, the global benchmark, was being priced at about $112 a barrel last week, a 10-year high.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has been shunned by the Biden administration, has refused to lower oil prices, and along with regional ally UAE, has been pushing for a more balanced position on Russia.
- Expected to expire in about three months is a set of production quotas for OPEC+, which would leave open space for Russia to continue to produce, and sell, more oil.