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Saudi Arabia’s Radical New Oil Strategy

Although Saudi Arabia's recent decision to hike oil production coincided with the broader COVID-19 crisis, it reflects a broader and more fundamental strategic shift led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. With a global clean-energy transition inevitable, MBS is desperate to cash out while the Kingdom still can.

PRINCETON – Saudi Arabia’s recent decision to crank up oil production represents a dramatic shift in its thinking about energy markets and its own reliance on oil revenues. Gone are the days when Saudi oil reserves were prudently managed for future generations. By no longer maintaining a specific oil-price band or retaining spare production capacity, the Kingdom is stepping away from its longstanding role as the market’s swing producer.