THE PRICE WAR AMONG OPEC MEMBERS
Suppliers from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries have always moved together, raising or lowering prices in tandem. Now, Kuwait is undercutting Saudi Arabia by the most on record and Iraq is also selling its oil more cheaply than the group's biggest member. Qatar is pricing cargoes at the biggest discount in 27 months to competing crude from Abu Dhabi.
While the group that accounts for about 40% of global oil supplies maintains a collective strategy of flooding the market with crude, the semblance of unity has vanished when setting monthly selling prices. With Asia forecast to account for most of the growth in global oil demand this year, competition for the region's buyers is trumping historical allegiances.
Kuwait's official price for its Export Blend crude to Asia was a record 65 cents cheaper than Saudi Arabia's similar-quality Arab Medium crude in October and 60 cents for November. The difference has widened from 40 cents at the beginning of 2014.