Any idea that Saudi Arabia was about to abandon its effort to turn the oil market on its head was dashed earlier this month when the country's top energy official said it would do something few other industry players want to do right now: invest.
The oil price collapse over the past 16 months has forced the world's biggest energy companies to cut hundreds of billions of dollars in future spending to bolster their balance sheets. But Ali al-Naimi — oil minister and architect of the Saudi strategy to maintain output and keep prices low to hobble its rivals — voiced a commitment to press on with investments in exploration, production and refining.
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