These are tense times for US-Saudi oil relations. The once-chummy alliance that allowed Saudi Arabia to become the OPEC kingpin and the US’s biggest oil importer has turned into bitter rivalry.
Call it a new Game of Thrones — or a snub. OPEC nations are bickering amongst themselves as Saudi Arabia faces growing domestic insecurity and questions about its role as the cartel leader.
Last November, the Saudis refused to cut OPEC oil production despite growing inventories and plummeting world oil prices. The strategy was to shore up OPEC’s eroding market share while knocking out the emerging US shale oil industry.