Saudi Oil Boost Little More Than PR
Adding half-million barrels won't dent prices, analysts say
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 18, 2008 4:55 PM CDT
In this Friday, March 21, 2008 file photo, a Saudi Arabian man fills his vehicle's tank at a gas station in Riyadh.   (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali, File)
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(Newser) – Saudi Arabia consenting to increase oil output is more public-relations ploy than problem-solver, Vivienne Walt writes in Time, since the half-million extra barrels a day won't make much of a dent, if the Saudis even have that much to spare. One analyst says the move is really an attempt “to pump out the message to the West that ‘we are not trying to hurt your economy.'"

It’s not that the Saudis don’t want to help solve the gas crisis (they don’t want global recession, either), it’s just that they can’t. Plus, that extra 500,000 barrels daily will be heavy, sour crude (as opposed to light, sweet crude), which is less environmentally friendly and thus harder to sell.