Saudi Arabia embarked on its market-share-recapture strategy very late in the game — a clear missed call on what was to develop in unconventional reservoirs. Today however, they remain steadfast in their desire to disenfranchise unconventional reserves around the globe through dictating a price point for crude that even in the best of reservoirs would barely cover direct operating costs, much less provide returns on investment in new wells.
Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 plan and follow-on statements by Saudi officials point to a desire for growth through non-oil revenues. How? First, generate capital (to invest in non-oil revenue sources) from oil itself – through lower prices. As one of the lowest cost producers in OPEC, they are uniquely suited to that strategic approach. Second, monetize pieces of Aramco.