Someday, I hope to live in a world where the perfectly groomed and dressed attendant at the full-service gas station pays me a small fee for allowing him to fill my tank with the excess gasoline which the station simply must get rid of. While the attendant goes about the business of crediting my account and filling the tank, a statuesque masseuse straight out of a Helmut Newton photoshoot comes by to spend a few quality minutes on my neck and shoulders.
The margaritas, I should add, are fabulous. The station’s bartender strains the fresh lime juice and uses exactly seven Alaskan glacier ice cubes, just the way I like.
After he’s done his job, the attendant thanks me for my business, adds a small tip to my fee, and reminds me that when I return in a week or two, the free tapas bar should finally be open.
That world may be one small step closer to reality:
Saudi Arabia has a response to the global surplus of oil: Raise output to near-record levels and then pump even more.
The world’s biggest oil exporter, having abandoned last year its role of keeping global markets in balance, now has incentive to maximize output and undermine rival producers by using its reserve capacity, according to Citigroup Inc. and UBS AG. Just meeting its own domestic demand this summer will require a lot more fuel, others estimate.
The increase — a snub to fellow OPEC members calling on the kingdom to cut production — will heighten tensions when the organization meets in June. Oil plunged to a six-year low near $45 a barrel in January, six weeks after the Saudis overcame opposition within the group to keep up output despite surging U.S. shale supplies.
If you’d like to play the World’s Smallest Violin for OPEC, the corner gas station has a Stradivarius available for loan to customers just like you.