Saudi Arabia: Trying to Hold the Line

Saudi Arabia’s budget statement for 2020 was approved December 9, the end of a busy week for the country and its energy sector, including the prior week’s OPEC+ meeting and key developments in the long-awaited IPO of Saudi Aramco, its state-owned energy company. The budget takes a relatively conservative stance on both oil and non-oil… Continue reading Saudi Arabia: Trying to Hold the Line

OPEC Compromise: Can Kicking Buys Time for Sanctions Rollout and Demand

Last week, OPEC+ ministers managed to come to a consensus after days of contentious discussions in Vienna, achieving the goal of formally keeping the OPEC+ alliance together, but failing to solve some of the thorny issues between key members including Saudi Arabia and Iran. The final agreement, which commits the group to reversing recent overcompliance… Continue reading OPEC Compromise: Can Kicking Buys Time for Sanctions Rollout and Demand

MBS World Tour: Saudi Arabia’s Looming Tradeoffs

With Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Washington at the start of his long U.S. tour, there have been no shortage of good analyses written about what’s at stake and the motivations for the trip and Saudi social and economic reform – my favorites include those by Karen Young and Alastair Newton, as… Continue reading MBS World Tour: Saudi Arabia’s Looming Tradeoffs

Saudi Arabia: An Expansive Spending Plan, Mixed Messages for Private Sector

Saudi Arabia released its 2018 budget with great fanfare today, including a meaningful increase in spending directly and via off-balance sheet funds such the public investment fund (PIF). With the oil sector no longer a drag and the non-oil sector benefiting from government pump-priming, economic growth should accelerate, from near-recessionary levels, part of a broader… Continue reading Saudi Arabia: An Expansive Spending Plan, Mixed Messages for Private Sector