‘For the time being


For the time being there is no spare capacity. But we expect demand to increase by the fourth quarter by 3m barrels a day. If Saudi does not increase supply by 3m barrels a day by the end of the year we will face, how can I say this, it will be very difficult. We will have difficult times.'” The reporter asked him whether such a growth in supply was possible, or simply wishful thinking. “‘You are from the press?’ Birol replied. ‘This is not for the press.'” So the BBC asked the other delegates what they thought of the prospects of a 30% increase in Saudi production. “The answers were unambiguous: ‘absolutely out of the question’; ‘completely impossible’; and ‘3m barrels – never, not even 300,000’. One delegate laughed so hard he had to support himself on a table.” And this was before they heard that two BBC journalists had been gunned down in Riyadh.

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The Author

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...