for U.S. crude exports
When Saudi Arabia threatens to weaponize its oil production, the U.S. cannot afford to brush off this warning by overestimating the potential of shale to cover the shortfalls.
U.S. crude exports have climbed significantly, reaching as high as 2.3 million barrels per day, but further gains will be difficult to achieve.
Despite the effects from the OPEC production cut and austerity measures, Saudi Arabia can ride out the current economic headwinds without having to switch market strategy. That outcome, though, is not a certainty since there are factors that could further negatively impact the Saudi economy.
OPEC is trying to spin recent price developments to show that it is fostering market stability in an effort to assist both consumers and producers. But recent talk of a more balanced market creates a false narrative