Financial TimesFinancial Times

Opec’s gamble: Can the global economy cope with higher oil prices?

By Derek Brower, David Sheppard

07 Apr 2023 · 7 min read

Editor's Note

FT explores the geopolitical implications of Opec+ cutting crude supply. How will this affect central banks' efforts to cool inflation?

As a historic price crash in crude brought turmoil to the global economy three years ago, Donald Trump led a broad effort by western countries to cajole Saudi Arabia and Russia to slash output and prop up the oil market. The Opec+ cuts that emerged spared the US shale sector from collapse. Trump praised Riyadh and Moscow for their help.

Three years on, such co-operation has evaporated. The Kremlin’s war in Ukraine has led Europe to purge Russian energy from its economy, while G7 countries seek to dictate the price Moscow earns from its oil. Soaring crude prices last year deepened a rift between Riyadh and the US administration of Joe Biden, who entered office pledging to make Saudi Arabia a “pariah”. In October, the White House accused Opec+ of “aligning with Russia” after it moved to slash oil supplies.

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