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Opinion
Julian Lee

Never Bet Against a Saudi Oil Minister

Don't be fooled by apparent backsliding on an output deal, Russia will play ball.
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Photographer: Qilai Shen

Don't be fooled by the apparent dithering of OPEC and friends over whether to extend their output restraint when they meet at the end of the month. They know full well that failing to send a clear signal would send oil prices plummeting.

The apparent backsliding from Russia and a small number of OPEC members may be a belated attempt to create a sense of uncertainty ahead of the gathering. The extension will then have a much more positive impact than if it merely ratified a long-flagged intention. Just look at what happened last time they all met, back in May: