Saudi Arabia's planned cuts in spending and energy subsidies signal that the world's largest crude exporter is bracing for a prolonged period of low oil prices.
The OPEC heavyweight shows no signs of wavering in the long-term oil strategy it has orchestrated since last year. Instead, it appears willing to continue tolerating cheap crude to defend market share and wait for the market to balance without cutting supplies, oil sources and analysts say.
In one of the strongest signals that the kingdom will stay the course despite the impact on its finances, Saudi Aramco's chairman Khalid al-Falih said it could outlast others.
"We see the market balancing sometime in 2016, we see demand ultimately exceeding supply and soaking up a lot of the excess inventory and prices in due course will respond regardless of when and by how much," Falih told a news conference late on Monday detailing next year's budget.