Without the US, don’t expect a universal oil deal

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As the world enters a darker phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, what began as a row between Moscow and Riyadh over OPEC+ oil supply reduction quotas, and then became a month-long price war for market share, now seems to be backtracking, with indications suggesting that both sides are seeking a global oil pact. Surprisingly, President Donald Trump, reaching out to Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), has become invested in such a deal. While it all sounds harmonious, Russia and Saudi Arabia have not yet stopped playing the blame game. While they both agree on the pandemic’s role in destroying demand, each side has argued that the other, independently, sought to end the pact to ouster America’s resilient shale producers, effectively kicking off the price war. Since the beginning of 2020, oil prices have collapsed, falling by 50 percent.

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Managing Director | + posts

Yesar Al-Maleki is an energy economist and a Middle East observer with extensive knowledge of the intertwining subjects of energy, geopolitics, and economics in the region.
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