I would suggest that this is essentially about the market power of the oil companies, and that the price will come down at some point. Essentially, the Saudis are waging a war over oil prices and setting the crude-oil price very low, and eventually it has to be passed on to the consumer. In the meantime, there’s a lot of profit to be made by the oil companies in delaying that.
" I would argue that this is a political story – it’s nothing to do with market mechanisms"
The Saudis’ aim is to destroy their competitors. On the one hand there are other players in oil production, mainly Iran, and on the other hand there’s the American and Canadian tar-sand industry – tar sands are areas of clay, sand, water and bitumen, which can be processed to extract oil – and the non-petroleum oils that have been established.
Either way, I would argue that this is a political story – it’s nothing to do with market mechanisms or anything like that. It’s not easy to tell how long the situation will last as it’s not a straightforward matter for the Saudis to establish their position, but once they’ve destroyed the competition they would certainly raise prices again.