Even as Saudi Arabia has scrambled to prevent a bust in the oil market, so far failing to head off a dramatic price slide, Russia seems just fine with prices where they are. Russia is a key piece of the oil price puzzle. OPEC, once a coalition of oil-producing members that made joint decisions to maintain market stability, has morphed into a Saudi-led cartel that desperately needs Russian cooperation to strengthen the group’s efforts. Many OPEC members are either at maximum capacity, are suffering from production declines at aging fields, or are characterized by instability, making any promises to boost or cut production hollow. That leaves Saudi Arabia and its new strategic partner, Russia. But Russia is not as desperate for higher oil prices as is Saudi Arabia. There are a few reasons for this. One of the key reasons is that the Russian currency is flexible, so it weakens when oil prices fall. That cushions the blow during a downturn, allowing Russian oil companies to pay…

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This post originally appeared on SOTT.net

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