Reuters: "Privately, Saudis tell oil market- get used to lower prices."

Reuters (exclusive): “Suadi Arabia is quietly telling the oil market it would be comfortable with much lower oil prices for an extended period, a sharp shift in policy that may be aimed at slowing the expansion of rival producers including those in the U.S. shale patch.”
“Some OPEC members including Venezuela are clamoring for production cuts to push oil prices back up above $100 a barrel.
But Saudi officials have given a different message in meetings with investors and analysts: the kingdom, OPEC’s largest producer, will accept oil prices below $90 per barrel, and perhaps down to $80, for as long as a year or two, according to people who have been briefed on the recent conversations.
The discussions, some in New York over the past week, offer the clearest sign yet that the kingdom is setting aside its longstanding de facto aim of holding prices at around $100 a barrel for Brent crude LCOc1 in favor of retaining market share in years to come.
The Saudis appear to be betting lower prices – which could strain the finances of some members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries – will be necessary to pave the way for higher revenue in the medium term, by curbing new investment and further increases in supply from places like the U.S. shale patch or ultra-deepwater, according to the sources, who declined to be identified due to the private nature of the discussions.
The conversations with Saudi officials did not offer any specific guidance on whether – or by how much – the kingdom might agree to cut output, a move many analysts are expecting in order to shore up a global market that is producing substantially more crude than it can consume. Saudi Arabia pumps around a third of OPEC’s oil, or about 9.7 million barrels a day.
….With most other members of the cartel unable or unwilling to reduce their own output, the group’s next meeting on Nov. 27 is set to be its most difficult in years. OPEC has agreed to cut production only a handful of times in the past decade, most recently in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.
On Friday, Venezuela – one of the cartel’s most price-sensitive members – became the first to call openly for emergency action even earlier. Foreign Minister Rafael Ramirez said “it doesn’t suit anyone to have a price war, for the price to fall below $100 a barrel”.
On Sunday, Ali al-Omair, oil minister of Saudi Arabia’s core Gulf ally Kuwait, appeared to be the first to articulate the emerging view of OPEC’s most influential member, saying output cuts would do little to prop up prices in the face of rising production from Russia and the United States.
“I don’t think today there is a chance that (OPEC) countries would reduce their production,” state news agency KUNA quoted him as saying.
Omair said that prices should stop falling at around $76 to $77 a barrel, citing production costs in places such as the United States, where a shale oil boom has unexpectedly reversed dwindling output and pushed production to its highest level since the 1980s.
….The Saudis want the world to know that “nobody should be surprised” with oil under $90 a barrel, according to one of the people. Another source suggested that $80 a barrel may now be an acceptable floor for the kingdom, although several other analysts said that figure seemed too low. Brent has averaged around $103 since 2010, trading mostly between $100 and $120.”