Why is Saudi Arabia using oil as a weapon?

A recent meeting in Vienna, between the member states of Opec finally uncovered what the world had expected for months.

Saudi Arabia is playing politics with oil, forcing Opec to maintain its current production levels at 30m barrels per day, to force down the price.

Consequently oil prices have fallen 35% in 2014, tipping under the $70 mark for the first time since May 2010.

The question is why the Saudis would risk the goodwill of other Opec members, simultaneously emasculating the organisation and undercutting their ability to use it in the future to serve their interests.

It is a game of high-stakes poker and in the long run will cause the Saudis some harm, but that is not where their immediate thoughts lie.

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