The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

American Energy: Disrupting the Global Energy Market

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted January 26, 2015

Who Will Rule the Oil Market?

The New York Times (Daniel Yergin): A historic change of roles is at the heart of the clamor and turmoil over the collapse of oil prices, which have plummeted by 50 percent since September. For decades, Saudi Arabia, backed by the Persian Gulf emirates, was described as the “swing producer.” With its immense production capacity, it could raise or lower its output to help the global market adjust to shortages or surpluses.

But on Nov. 27, at the OPEC meeting in Vienna, Saudi Arabia effectively resigned from that role and OPEC handed over all responsibility for oil prices to the market, which the Saudi oil minister, Ali Al-Naimi, predicted would “stabilize itself eventually.” OPEC’s decision was hardly unanimous. Venezuela and Iran, their economies in deep trouble, lobbied hard for production cutbacks, to no avail. Afterward, Iran accused Saudi Arabia of waging an “oil war” and being part of a “plot” against it.

By leaving oil prices to the market, Saudi Arabia and the emirates also passed the responsibility as de facto swing producer to a country that hardly expected it — the United States.

Read more: http://nyti.ms/1xZcrdW

More industry news:

  • EIA: Lower 48 Oil Production Outlook Stable Despite Expected Near-Term Reduction in Rig Count: http://1.usa.gov/1uSv4oe

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mary Schaper is a Digital Communications Manager for the American Petroleum Institute. She previously worked on Capitol Hill for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee as Digital Director and for Senator Lisa Murkowski. Before coming to D.C., she spearheaded digital strategy for Murkowski's successful Senate write-in campaign in 2010. Schaper enjoys traveling and taking in the local culture alongside her husband, their son and loyal springer spaniel.