US signals it still depends on cheap oil from abroad

SourceFinancial Times
SectorOil & Gas

After a year of head-spinning volatility in American petro-diplomacy, a reversion to normal is under way. The US wants cheap oil again. “I had a productive call with Saudi Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman al-Saud today,” tweeted US energy secretary Jennifer Granholm last week. “We reaffirmed the importance of international co-operation to ensure affordable and reliable sources of energy for consumers.” That was just hours before a meeting of the Opec+ oil producers cartel. Abdulaziz said the two ministers did not talk crude, but Granholm’s subtext was plain to anyone that has watched decades of Saudi-US relations.

It read: keep a lid on crude prices. It marks an abrupt shift from the Donald Trump era. Twelve months ago, US producers begged Trump to help stop an oil crash, so he piled pressure on Russia and Saudi Arabia to slash supply and prop up the market. Now the Biden administration has reverted to the mean, evidently fretting that a 60 per cent rally more...