Saudi Arabia plans to keep oil production steady despite a recent slump in prices, fearing any bigger output cuts would lead rivals in OPEC to increase supply.

Five people briefed on Saudi Arabia’s thinking said Brent crude’s more than 10% slide in the past week, dipping below $40/bbl on Sept. 8, was causing concern but not yet panic in Riyadh. The kingdom has led OPEC and other producers such as Russia, known together as OPEC+, in slashing output in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

The country fears that if it cuts more output to support prices, other countries will take advantage and produce greater amounts, jeopardising the unity of the OPEC+ group that enacted record supply cuts in April as demand collapsed.

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