Saudi Arabia engineered OPEC’s policy to kill off U.S. shale oil production. The plan was straightforward: Keep pumping oil, maintain market share and outlast the Americans.
But the plan is also producing casualties within the cartel itself: Angola, Nigeria and a Venezuela that’s on the verge of implosion.
Six months after OPEC left its high-production policy in place, some of the cartel members who called loudest for output cuts are feeling the most pain. Inflation is soaring and currencies have plummeted in lesser petro states, as top exporter Saudi Arabia continues to dictate policy.
While Riyadh tries to embark on a new path toward economic diversification under its influential deputy crown prince, those other OPEC states are seeing fragile gains slip away and threats to stability creep in.
For the moment, relief is elusive.