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Opec+ power shift points to lower crude price paradigm

If Russia can marshal allies to seize control of the producers’ group, it might respond to structural demand concerns with a volume-over-value strategy

Saudi Arabia’s five-decade run as either sole or co-leader of Opec appears to now be under serious threat from Russia in the expanded Opec+ grouping. And that could lead to a shift in emphasis to protecting the Opec+ market share, particularly given pressures on future oil demand. After a combination of revolution, war and international economic sanctions whittled away production and influence from Iran—in the 1970s and 1980s an Opec co-leader, with Riyadh leading the price doves and Tehran the hawks—Saudi Arabia enjoyed a 25-year hegemony over Opec policy. Supported by loyal Mid-East Gulf allies Kuwait and UAE, that was the status quo until 2016. But, in December 2016, Saudi Arabia admit



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