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Ben Geman Oct 24
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Saudi Arabia throws down the gauntlet

Photo: LM Otero / AP

A top Bloomberg editor highlights a message being conveyed by Saudi Arabia amid the turbulence in global crude oil: "Saudi Oil minister says the world of energy may be changing, but Aramco will survive longest and pump the last barrel of crude."

In a word, it's defiance.

Why it matters: OPEC's dominant producer, Saudi Arabia, is reacting to a widely perceived threat from U.S. shale oil and forecasts that global oil demand could level off in little more than a decade, and then start to decline. In such a scenario, Saudi and the world's other petro-states — already in their third year of low oil prices — could face even worse fiscal trouble. Saudi is saying: Even if the petro-world does comes apart, we will be the last man standing.