The Doha summit this past weekend that was supposed to enshrine a cut in oil production by OPEC, in tandem with Russia – it was practically a done deal – ended up literally in the dust.
The City of London – via the FT – wants to convey the impression to global public opinion that it all boiled down to a dispute between Prince Mohammed bin Salman – the conductor of the illegal war on Yemen — and Saudi Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi. The son of — ailing — King Salman has been dubbed “the unpredictable new voice of the kingdom’s energy policy.”
A famous 3 am call did take place in Doha on Sunday. The young Salman called the Saudi delegation and told them the deal was off. Every other energy market player was stunned by the reversion.Yet the true story, according to a financial source with very close links to the House of Saud, is that “the United States threatened the Prince that night with the most dire consequences if he did not back down on the oil price freeze.”
So – predictably — this goes way beyond an internal Saudi matter, or the Prince’s “erratic” behavior, even as the House of Saud is indeed racked by multiple instances of fear and paranoia, as I analysed here.