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The Big Picture

Oil Feels the Heat From Cooler US-Saudi Ties

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  • The US and Opec-plus countries have fundamentally different views of energy markets today.  
  • Washington and Riyadh do not have the kind of robust, high-level diplomatic relationship that in the past meant Saudi Arabia was more inclined to acquiesce to US requests to add more barrels.  
  • Under any Democratic presidency that outlook is unlikely to shift — given both a focus on climate action, and a reluctance to cozy up to the kingdom under its current leadership.

Political pressure remains high on the White House to address rising oil prices. President Joe Biden’s public calls for more oil were rebuffed last week by Opec and its allies, who decided to leave plans to add barrels to the market at a rate of 400,000 barrels per day each month in place.

The days of unchallenged US security dominance in the Gulf are probably numbered, with several players, most notably China, set to increase their influence.
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