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Opinion
David Fickling

The Oil Price War Is Turning Into a Debt War

Saudi Arabia's bloated budget means it's not really a low-cost producer. That's why any race to the bottom will be difficult to win.

We’ve played this game before.

We’ve played this game before.

Photographer: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP

In a war of attrition, the winner isn’t the force with overwhelming power, but the one with the greatest capacity to sustain damage. 

The current price war in the oil market is little different. Brent crude fell the most since the 1991 Gulf War Monday, dropping 31% in a matter of seconds, after Friday’s OPEC+ meeting broke up in disarray and Saudi Arabia slashed its crude prices and promised a surge in output.