Saudi Arabia, Russia suffered the most Tough Times for Oil’s producers
The “One Singular Sensation” series uncovered Russia’s weaknesses, the wealth of Saudi Arabia and Nigeria’s difficult straits. Shortly after the series ran, and as the Aramco IPO inched forward, the Saudis decided to basically gut Russia’s oil market.
Dollars per barrel hit their lowest levels in many years. Saudi Arabia might have pulled this off, but then the two nations sitting on enormous oil pools got together and stopped the marketing blitz. If Aramco had gutted Russia’s connection with Western Europe, the economy of the former Soviet masters would have tanked with a terrible crash.
Without that event, oil in the incredible $20 per barrel range or even $40 means that Russia is in big trouble. The Federation’s GDP slipped 4% this year, a drop that follows years of declining oil prices. Relying on oil to cover your expenses proves a dangerous undertaking. Iran is undergoing 34% inflation in part because like Russia it depends too much on oil. Making an enemy of the US does not help either.