The record oil production cuts that OPEC+ initiated in response to the demand and oil price collapse have helped the oil market to stabilize in recent months. Yet, oil prices have been stuck in the low $40s since the end of the second quarter. While this is a huge improvement—double that of the lows seen in April—$40 oil is roughly half the oil price that many OPEC members, including the top producer and de facto leader, Saudi Arabia, need to balance their budgets. OPEC and its key non-OPEC partner Russia need oil prices higher than $40 to support their oil-dependent economies, which have taken a hit from the pandemic-driven slowdown. However, prices have stubbornly lingered in a narrow range since June, after signs started to emerge that global oil demand—albeit on the mend—is not recovering quickly enough to warrant higher prices. At the same time, OPEC+ is easing its […]