Over the course of the two-year American election process, Republican nominee Trump promised on the campaign trail to divest U.S. interests from “our foes and the oil cartels,” referring mainly to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), of which the KSA is the largest producer and de facto leader.
“At his heart President-elect Trump will see the benefits and I think the oil industry will also be advising him accordingly that blocking trade in any product is not healthy,” Khalid al-Falih, chairman of Aramco and Saudi Aramco Oil Minister, told the Financial Times in Marrakesh, where world leader’s are currently negotiating the nuts and bolts of the landmark 2015 climate change agreement.
Saudi Arabia is the U.S.’ largest Middle Eastern oil supplier, though the North American country gets most of its energy from domestic and Canadian sources.
Al-Falih added that the free trade energy culture currently in place benefits the United States because it has created a refining industry and ignited a job-hungry shale revolution.
Related: Iran Surprises OPEC With A Further 250,000 Bpd Increase
“The U.S. is sort of the flag-bearer for capitalism and free markets,” according to Al-Falih. “The U.S. continues to be a very important part of a global industry that is interconnected, that is dealing with a fungible commodity which is crude oil. So having equalization through free trade is very healthy for oil.”
Critics of American foreign policy say the U.S.’ hunger for energy played a role in encouraging the country’s political entanglements in the Middle East. Reaching energy independence would supposedly free leaders from the economic risks of intervening or stepping back from conflicts in the region, according to proponents of energy independence.
Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
More Top Reads From Oilprice.com: