Saudi Arabian oil burn for powergen is again edging up. With the kingdom cutting crude production in the coming months, associated gas output is set to fall further, increasing demand for liquids fuel at power plants.

A brief comment by Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih in Baku on 17 March (see p7) underlines a key limiting factor in the kingdom’s oil supply flexibility. In reiterating Riyadh’s opposition to a replay of the “80s phenomenon” where the kingdom cut...