Oil prices continue to fall, down to around $50 per barrel this week, and Saudi Arabia has reportedly asked OPEC members to continue production in order to keep prices low.
It’s working, for them, because they have $750 billion in reserve currency, and will likely gain market share in the long term as it becomes expensive for others in the region to produce oil. But Joshua Landis, the Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, argues that American oil companies play a significant role as well.
“It’s the Americans who’ve done this to the world through [hydraulic fracturing],” Landis says. “This new technological innovation has allowed America to become the major producer of oil in the world. We’ve flooded the market, and now we’re expecting the Saudis to reduce their production in order to keep the prices high so Americans can get rich.”