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Julian Lee

There's No Easy Fix to OPEC's Whack-A-Mole Problem

The oil cartel’s 60th anniversary is marred not only by Covid, but a failure to keep its diverse members disciplined in meeting their output targets.

Problems just keep popping up.

Problems just keep popping up.

Photographer: Mark Leffingwell/Digital First Media/Boulder Daily Camera via Getty Images

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries turns 60 tomorrow, and the oil producer group is putting a brave face on its Covid-curtailed Diamond Jubilee. But rifts within the cartel are resurfacing as de facto leader Saudi Arabia struggles to maintain discipline among members itching to pump more crude.

The birthday celebrations, due to be held in Baghdad’s Al-Shaab Hall where OPEC came into being, have been postponed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. That may be a blessing as the OPEC family gathering would have been “a lot more like the Simpsons and a lot less like the Waltons,” to misquote former U.S. President George H. W. Bush.