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Oil and the House of Saud: Analysis of Saudi Arabian Oil Policy

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Abstract

This article analyzes the process of how the Government of Saudi Arabia determines oil policy. It focuses on oil production because it accepts that the Saudis are “price takers” rather than “price setters.” It applies economic and political explanations as determinants of how much oil is produced. Two periods of Saudi oil policy are compared—1987–1991 and 1997–2001—using open‐source data from various newspapers and newsletters. The article concludes that oil production in Saudi Arabia is, in large measure, a function of Saudi Arabian estimates of how its oil reserves may provide long‐term revenue and political stability at the risk of short‐term economic gains.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Colorado Denver

Publication date: March 1, 2012

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