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Saudi dealmaker

Fiscal pressures and the Aramco IPO were behind the Saudi change of heart. Riyadh needs this deal to work

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) as a whole is keen to promote the Opec and non-Opec commitments to reduce oil production - the open-the-floodgates policy now barely mentioned - and Saudi Arabia is the Gulf's chief cheerleader. The kingdom, which had been producing at record high levels during 2016, accepted an output cut of 486,000 barrels a day, giving it a new target of 10.058m b/d. So keen is Saudi Arabia that it be seen to be leading from the front that energy minister Khalid al-Falih couldn't resist telling reporters in early January that not only was the kingdom's output already below 10m b/d, but it was "going the extra mile to lead our colleagues within and outside Opec to make s

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