Counting the Cost

Oil wars: Saudi vs the world?

As global oil prices tumble, we ask why the country that is OPEC’s kingpin is doing nothing to stop it.

There are winners and losers in every economic situation, but few have the impact of one involving oil. The price of Brent crude, which at one time priced 90 percent of the world’s oil, has tumbled by one-fifth. And analysts believe the price could fall to as low as $60 a barrel.

Already at $80, it is a major adjustment for countries trying balance their budgets. And the question is not what, but who is driving oil prices, and what the fallout means for ordinary people and the global economy.

Many would expect Saudi Arabia to be defending higher prices, but that is not exactly the case. So why is Saudi doing this? And what will be the outcome for everyone else? The answer depends on where you are standing.

In Russia, the belief is that this is punishment for what has happened in Ukraine and for Russia’s ongoing support of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. While in the shale fields of the United States, it is thought the Saudis are trying to maintain lucrative oil contracts with Asia, which would set back those US company attempts to get their export ban lifted by Washington. At $80 a barrel, US oil companies would need to shut down or cancel new shale projects.

For some perspective on the current situation, Hilda Mulock-Houwer, the global head of energy at KPMG, speaks to Counting the Cost about the different theories behind Saudi Arabia not defending higher oil prices and the impact on the global economy.

Tunisia’s youth unemployment crisis

Four years ago, Tunisia was the trigger for the rest of the Arab Spring. And the trigger for so much of the Arab world’s revolution was jobs. Joblessness and the economy are important things everywhere in the world.

From Tunisia, where 17 percent of people are still jobless and almost one-third of graduates cannot find work, Al Jazeera’s Nazanine Moshiri filed a report ahead of the elections.

Kenya’s economic revision

Kenya has revised the size of its economy by reinterpreting the figures and the measures used to create a new reality. It is now the ninth-largest economy on the African continent.

But despite that, Kenya does have a vision – on paper at least. And the man charged with charting a course for Kenya’s economy is Gituro Wainaina, the CEO of Vision 2030 in Kenya. He speaks to Counting the Cost from Nairobi.

Al Jazeera’s Catherine Soi also investigates whether an economic revision means anything to the everyday Kenyan.

Chile’s unstealable bikes

Finally this week, we look at bicycles, which are the number one form of transportation in the world.

Easy to use, cheap, environmentally friendly, and ridiculously easy to steal – except for one from Chile, which is the unstealable bike. Lucia Newman met its inventors in Santiago.