Faced with European proposals for higher taxes on oil, Saudi Arabia is signalling desperately that it wants higher prices. This makes a change from its earlier policy of restrained oil pricing. This fortnight's crucial mid-year meeting of OPEC saw the conspicuous absence of the Saudi oil minister. This shift in stand could add as much as US $3 a barrel to the price of petroleum by the end of the year. It seems more than just a coincidence that US $3 is also the starting figure for a carbon tax in Europe.
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