Saudi Arabia is set to continue its 1 million-barrel oil supply cut into September as part of its efforts to support a fragile recovery in crude prices. This additional cutback was introduced alongside existing output reductions made in collaboration with other OPEC+ producers to stabilize oil markets amid uncertain economic conditions. The extension of the measure into August has already been implemented, and a Bloomberg survey of 22 traders, analysts, and refiners indicates that 15 of them predict it will persist into September. The two previous announcements regarding the kingdom’s voluntary production cuts were conveyed through state media in the first week of the month. Over the past month, oil prices have risen approximately 12 percent, reaching around $83 per barrel in London, thanks to the recovery in global fuel consumption and the restraint on output by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC+), leading to a long-awaited tightening of world markets. This improvement offers some relief to consumers in the US and elsewhere who have been grappling with last year’s unprecedented wave of inflation. It may also give the Saudis the opportunity to ease their supply curbs. However, it is believed that prices might still be too low for the kingdom’s liking. Bloomberg Economics suggests that Saudi Arabia needs $100-a-barrel crude to finance its ambitious spending plans. To consider reintroducing the 1 million barrels per day into the market, the kingdom would likely want to see oil prices continue to rise, possibly reaching $90 a barrel, and witness improvements in Chinese economic data. Some analysts speculate that the supply shortfall in global oil markets is expected to deepen significantly in the coming months, with the International Energy Agency projecting a shortage of approximately 1.7 million barrels a day during the second half of the year. According to six participants in the survey, this anticipated supply shortage might prompt the Saudis to gradually reduce their extra cut by restoring around 250,000 to 500,000 barrels a day of halted production in September. Some analysts believe there is sufficient evidence to support this move, as the market is showing a high demand for these barrels, and refiners are actively seeking to acquire them. While the Saudis have a history of making unexpected moves in the oil market to surprise speculators, the financial pressures they face may make it challenging for them to relax their production curbs. Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s ambitious economic and social transformation plans require much higher oil prices, as emphasized by Bloomberg Economics. Recently, the kingdom experienced the steepest growth downgrade among major economies by the International Monetary Fund, projecting a modest 1.9 percent expansion of Saudi gross domestic product for the year. By maintaining a tight grip on oil supplies, Riyadh can also encourage discipline among other members of the OPEC+ alliance. Russia, a key player in the group, has finally begun implementing its promised share of supply curbs after months of delay. The recent focus of Moscow on maximizing oil sales to fund its invasion of Ukraine has caused a decline in shipments to a six-month low of 3.1 million barrels a day. Key nations from the OPEC+ alliance will conduct an online meeting on August 4 to assess oil market conditions, with the full 23-nation group scheduled to convene in late November.