The crown prince must balance his desire for change with a public reticent to adapt. Instituting change too fast could stir up dangerous opposition to his social and economic reforms from Saudis sympathetic to militant Islamic groups and a royal family that fears his policies will lead to their marginalization.
A few years of low oil prices have forced domestic shale producers to innovate, become more efficient, and lower their production costs. As a result, the shale producers that were able to weather the storm have emerged as leaner, fitter, and faster operations that can now operate profitably.
Although there is no debate that there are tremendous reserves of oil in Saudi Arabia, a simple estimate of $2 trillion for the value of Saudi Aramco may prove to be to overly optimistic. The proposed offering of a 5 percent stake of Aramco has created an opportunity to value the country’s oil reserves.
In Yemen, hardened rebel fighters remain undeterred by heavy Saudi bombing. In addition, Saudi-backed Syrian fighters have lost major ground in Aleppo. Both these conflicts have been costly distractions for Saudi Arabia, whose economy is feeling the pinch of austerity measures.
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The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has initiated plans to lead OPEC in production cuts that are designed to reduce the oil glut and raise crude oil prices globally. Production increases in non-OPEC countries and Saudi Arabia itself contributed to production that drove down prices. Now, the oil ministry is changing direction in order to steer prices higher and reduce the damaging economic impact on its own economy.
While there have been shifts in manufacturing over the past few decades, there are still opportunities for manufacturing to thrive in developed countries such as the United States. Globalfoundries' facility in New York makes semiconductor wafers and employs 3,000 people with an average salary of $92,000. 9to5 Seating, a Calilfornia-based chair manufacturer, exports quality components from its U.S. factory to China, where assembled chairs are then sold in markets such as Saudi Arabia and China.
Low oil prices are leading to a reduction in construction projects in Saudi Arabia. Thus, Saudi construction companies are cutting back on employment, as their cash flow suffers. Caught in the fray are foreign construction workers who aren't getting paid, can't send remittances back to family, and can't get exit visas to leave Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia and Russia have a frayed relationship stemming from Russia’s failure in past crises to keep promises to reduce oil production. Thus, it's no surprise that Moscow’s current call for new talks with Saudi Arabia to limit oil production has fallen on deaf ears.
Why would Saudi Arabia consider an IPO at this time of historically low oil prices? Saudi Arabia is considering a new strategic ally in its cold war against Iran: The world’s 330 million owners of publicly traded stock.
What kind of liability are major banks facing for being the conduit for money used in terrorist activities?
By boosting production and lowering prices, Saudi Arabia has helped create a bear market in oil.
While many still see shale oil as the path to U.S. energy independence, there are signs that it may not be an easy or inexpensive path.
Abundant natural gas in the U.S. is driving investment in chemical, plastics, and fertilizer plants on the Gulf Coast.
As the only woman in the Persian Gulf who runs a bank, Nahed Taher is blazing a trail for women in banking. But, she is also blazing a trail for ethical investment.
The Arab Spring has caused Saudi Arabia to rethink its economic and foreign policy. Now, the needs of Saudi Arabia come before the needs of OPEC.
Saudi Aramco is one of the world's most technologically advanced oil companies. It also provides the cash to sustain a premodern monarchy and placate Saudi Arabia's citizens.
What about the economics of oil in the tumultuous Middle East?
Research shows working-age populations are slipping in the U.S. and other industrialized nations while those of other countries are growing faster.
What happens when Iraq stabilizes?
With prices low and the promise of vast new supplies, some businesses are making the switch from oil-based fuels and coal. Are they making the right call?
Iraq's deal with BP signals a revival that could eventually put it on a par with the Saudis.
Saudi Arabia's conservative policies have helped it dodge the financial meltdown.
Cisco, the technology company that sells everything from million-dollar routers to videoconferencing systems, also has consulting services to help companies and countries upgrade their infrastructure.
The Saudis are concerned with maintaining worldwide demand for oil. Hence, the are working to keep a lid on oil prices.
Saudi Arabia is working to reduce its dependence on energy exports by developing industrial cities in economic backwaters. The projects face challenges ranging from finance to workforce literacy.