Outwardly, there is no sign yet of a definite change in policy. But behind the scenes, Saudi Arabia has been working towards boosting prices, rather than leaving that job to market forces.


In Vienna, Falih floated a number of ideas in private meetings on how best to manage the supply glut, and questioned independent OPEC analysts during separate meetings as to the possible price impact of a production freeze or even a cut.

At private talks with the Nigerian oil minister before the June 2 OPEC meeting, Falih was willing to revive the idea of a production freeze while showing more tolerance towards Iran, which is raising output post-sanctions, sources said.


The Saudis "want higher oil prices for a better Aramco valuation", one industry source said, adding that some think Aramco could be valued as high as $4 trillion.

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