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Opec should bear in mind its history

The past offers painful warnings against the temptations that 2021 may bring

The start of 2021 has proven as turbulent as the year just gone, even by the tumultuous historical standards of the oil industry. Saudi Arabia’s 2020 efforts to rally Opec producers and expand the scope of its wider Opec+ alliance to arrange ‘orderly’ production cuts and support prices threatened to unravel in the face of intransigence from Russia and others. The kingdom’s decision to bear an ever greater cuts burden has calmed the market for now. But, for the rest of the year and beyond, the attitude and behaviour of all Opec members and their allies will be critical for the oil market’s supply side. And, to try to see into the future, we should remind ourselves of the way Opec has behaved

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