98 Deymah Alweqyan
and evolve. There is no doubt that the last nine months [starting June
2014] has been one of those intermittent periods of volatility after
several years of stability.
Abdullah El-Badri, OPEC Secretary-General
Fluctuation in the oil price has been an international concern for decades. Oil is the
primary export and main economic driver for many States, and thus oil prices can
determine whether the economy remains stable or is thrown into chaos. Oil has
experienced periods of particularly high prices in 1973, 1980, 1990, 2003, and 2009. In
contrast, oil declined in value, and prices fell down tremendously in 2014.
The breathtaking oil price decrease of 2014 shocked the global economy. The
Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (“OPEC”) sought to increase oil
prices because it would not only effect States but also upstream and downstream
oil companies. OPEC announced that it would not decrease production to preserve
streamlined movement for global oil markets with the assurance of a slow increase in
prices after a few months.
Moreover, Iran and Russia
accused Saudi Arabia of manipulating oil prices to
achieve a particular agenda. Indeed, Saudi might have sought to break the Russian-
Syrian-Iranian alliance as it strengthened due to the Syrian conict in 2012; thus, it
could have harmed their economies. However, Saudi Arabia might also have wanted
to prevent American shale producers from becoming competitors in the oil market.
Regardless, Saudi Arabia wanted to continue leading OPEC and dominating the
1 Speech by OPEC Secretary-General to the 19th Middle East Oil & Gas Conference, Ministerial Panel Session,
Manama, Bahrain (Mar. 8, 2015), available at http://www.opec.org/opec_web/en/2973.htm.
2 L. Kilian, Oil Price Volatility: Origins and Effects, WTO Report (2010), available at https://www.wto.org/english/res_
3 T. Hirst, OPEC Votes Not To Cut Production, Oil Prices Plummet, Bus. InsIde, Nov. 27, 2014, available at https://
4 J. Dettmer, Iran Accused Saudi Arabia of Oil Conspiracy, VOA, Jan. 6, 2015, available at: https://www.voanews.
com/middle-east/iran-accuses-saudis-oil-conspiracy See also Saudi Arabia Manipulates Oil Price for Political Gains:
Russian Official, Press TV, Oct. 13, 2014, available at https://www.konfrontasi.com/content/english/saudi-arabia-
manipulates-oil-price-political-gains-russian-official; T. Hirts, Saudi Arabia’s Oil Price ‘Manipulation’ Could Sink the
Russian Economy, Bus. InsIde, Oct. 13, 2014, available at http://www.businessinsider.com.au/russia-saudi-arabia-and-