Oil bear market shows Saudis still call the shots

Analysts see oil producers as the losers and consumers as the winners, as the kingdom keeps its production steady even as prices hit a four-year low

New York

THE bear market in oil is showing the world there's still only one country in a position to choose winners and losers in the global market: Saudi Arabia.

The world's largest oil exporter is trying to protect its market share by keeping its production steady even as prices hit a four-year low. Energy producers in turmoil, such as Russia, Iran and Venezuela, stand to lose the most, US shale drillers and other Saudi rivals will suffer, and industrialised importing countries including Japan will get a boost from cheaper prices.

"Saudi Arabia is the only one in the position of putting more oil on the market when they want to and cutting production when they want to," said Edward Chow, a senior...

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