Since OPEC+ moved to cut oil production by 2 million barrels per day on October 5, relations have plummeted between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, the group’s de facto leader. The two longtime partners continue to squabble over the possible connection between the cuts and the fast-approaching U.S. midterms; meanwhile, serious questions have emerged about the strength and longevity of the U.S. partnership with the kingdom and about Riyadh’s evolving relationship with Russia. While U.S.-Saudi relations have become increasingly strained in recent years, growing ties between Saudi Arabia and Russia have come to provide crucial relief for Moscow’s increasing international isolation following its invasion of Ukraine.
At this Baker Briefing, Baker Institute and Edward P. Djerejian Center for the Middle East Director Ambassador David M. Satterfield, Middle East fellow Kristian Coates Ulrichsen and Center for Energy Studies fellows Jim Krane and Mark Finley examined the OPEC+ decision and explored the policy motivations of Saudi Arabia and other OPEC+ members. What motivations underlie the October production cuts? How much should we attribute to political and economic factors, and how much to market fundamentals? And what is to become of the longtime U.S.-Saudi partnership?
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Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, Ph.D.
Fellow for the Middle East
Fellow in Energy and Global Oil
Jim Krane, Ph.D.
Wallace S. Wilson Fellow for Energy Studies
The Honorable David M. Satterfield
Director, Baker Institute; Former Ambassador to Lebanon and Turkey