Russian and GCC Perspectives: Opec, Russia, and Falling Oil Prices

Oil prices have declined significantly since the middle of 2014, causing significant concern among major oil exporters, among the Russia and the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC; Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE). There have been significant calls for cooperation between the GCC states, other OPEC members, and Russia, with the goal of stabilizing oil prices. Whether or not a substantive agreement emerges remains to be seen. One of the biggest challenges faced by the oil exporters is the issue of building trust in a market that is currently dominated by highly competitive behavior. Moreover, shale oil has recently propelled the US to the top of the oil production pyramid, rendering the forging of a consensus even more difficult than usual. Russian and GCC commentators are well-acquainted with Western views regarding the collapse in the oil price. However, Russian and GCC commentators are comparatively uninformed about each other’s perspectives regarding this key development due to the nascent nature of relations between the two. This report aims to remedy this communication lacuna by furnishing readers with Russian and GCC perspectives on the issue, delivered by researchers specializing in oil markets.

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