U.S. Explores Luring Saudis Away from OPEC into New Oil Alliance

OPEC, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, is a pact of colluding oil-producing companies that act to artificially lower or raise the price of oil around the world based on how much the colluders are willing to pump. OPEC is the antithesis of free trade. But it does serve a purpose that (unfortunately) all oil drillers, including U.S. drillers, depend on–keeping prices high enough to be profitable. OPEC added Russia in a loose confederation for the past three years or so, something referred to as OPEC+. But then Russia recently told Saudi Arabia, the main OPEC player, to kiss off and left the OPEC+ fold, preferring to pump as much oil as they can. Saudi Arabia responded by increasing its production too, to drive prices into the basement, causing Russia (and U.S. shale drillers) pain.

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