OPEC on the brink in these troubled times
The new Saudi leadership could decide to put it out to pasture.
The new Saudi leadership could decide to put it out to pasture. Getting rid of elders has become a bad habit, and not only in the West. Even the most conservative enclaves in the world are not immune to this trend, as proven by the sensational rise of a 30-year-old Saudi who is increasingly responsible for the fate of the somewhat threadbare Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
At the age of 55, OPEC claims it still has a role to play. But the ambitions of the deputy crown prince to the Saudi throne, young Mohammed bin Salman, and the new and volatile dynamics that are now affecting the global energy sector could be enough to force OPEC’s dissolution or ultimately condemn it to irrelevance.
The cartel’s primary mission is controlling world oil prices. But due to inner wrangling, OPEC hasn’t always managed to fulfil its purpose, and the generally quarrelsome nature of its members has reached outrageous levels recently. For months, the price of a barrel of oil has been hovering at around 30% of its peak during the emerging country boom, but the 13 OPEC member countries have consistently failed to do anything about it.