The global clout of OPEC, never one of the world’s most admired institutions, reached a nadir in April when a dispute between Saudi Arabia and Russia triggered a price war just as global oil demand was collapsing due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Three months later, the cartel has re-emerged as a model of transnational cooperation and collective sacrifice, implementing historic production cuts in an effort to stabilize prices. Oil markets have noticed. After cratering below $20 a barrel in April, Brent crude, the international benchmark price, has hovered between $42 and $45 so far this month, even as demand remains low due to coronavirus-related travel restrictions.
In cinematic terms, it’s as if “The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight” transformed into “Ocean’s Eleven.” What happened?