Articles on OPEC

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OPEC can’t stop the flow. Isaac Urrutia/Reuters

Is OPEC’s oil era over?

OPEC has been declared dead in recent months as the group of oil-exporters has been unable to agree on a plan to stabilize the market. But was it really ever alive in the first place?
Oil’s continuing slide so far isn’t leading to lower U.S. production, but concerns are growing that it’ll drive some out of business. Reuters

Why do oil prices keep going down?

Producers keep pumping more oil, even as prices are falling to fresh 12-year lows every day. What's driving this?
Saudi workers have been given a pay bonus by their new king, but unless oil prices rebound the country will find itself eating into its US$750 billion sovereign nest egg. EPA/Ali Haider

Black oil, red budgets: how long can Gulf states endure low prices?

In his first royal decree, Saudi Arabia’s newly crowned King Salman announced two-month bonuses for state employees, pensioners, students, and recipients of social service programs (that is, everyone in…
The sands of time will turn against the desert oil states. iceink

Oil prices: eventually the Gulf states will run out of power

Oil prices have now almost halved in six months to below $60/barrel thanks to OPEC’s refusal to cut production. This means all the member countries are revising their government spending policies. While…
At the recent OPEC meeting Saudi Arabia argued for oil production levels to remain stable. www.shutterstock.com

Oil prices fall as economics trumps geopolitics

As at early December, the international price of crude oil is around US$70 a barrel, depending on grade. Over the last six months, oil prices have slumped by 30% and crude oil is now at its lowest level…
In the 1970s, refineries in the Middle East controlled the world’s flow of oil. Not any more. National Iranian Oil Company/Wikimedia Commons

OPEC v oil prices: how the world’s biggest oil cartel lost its power

With oil prices on the slide, members of the once-dominant Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) decided last week not to attempt to rally them by cutting production, leaving the Brent…
Gas guzzled: OPEC’s 1973 oil embargo threw America into crisis and underlined the political power of energy. David Falconer/Wikimedia Commons

Four decades later, has America finally got over the oil crisis?

The Australian Financial Review recently trumpeted America’s “re-emergence as a world oil power”. It is an accomplishment four decades in the making and its success is still under debate. Energy security…
Australia only keeps an estimated 23 days’ worth of fuel in the country. Bidgee/Wikimedia Commons

Running on empty: Australia’s risky approach to oil supplies

It might sound unlikely, but Australia’s fuel gauge is worryingly low. We’re one of the world’s top energy exporters, but our stocks of liquid fuels – such as the oil on which almost the whole transport…
OPEC president Mohammad Aliabadi believes speculation in futures is inflating oil prices. He is wrong. AAP

Why it’s wrong to blame speculation for pushing up oil prices

OPEC Conference president Mohammad Aliabadi recently joined a chorus of international observers to blame speculation as the source of ongoing volatility in the global oil market. Speaking at an OPEC Conference…

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