Us Saudi Agreement
A phone call between U.S. President Donald J. Trump and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on April 2 left no doubt about the state of U.S.-Saudi relations. Trump reportedly told the crown prince that Washington would withdraw its forces from the kingdom if Saudi Arabia did not immediately resolve the oil price war with Russia and significantly reduced production – saving what would remain of the devastated U.S. shale oil industry. The troops had been reinforced in 2019 amid rising tensions with Iran, including attacks on Saudi oil fields, so the seriousness of the threat was evident. The Saudis rushed to convene the OPEC oil producer group, and after days of intense battle, they secured an agreement with Moscow – which also had major economic problems because of the price war – and others to stabilize the market. But how did we get to this point? In 2017, the Trump administration accelerated the review of regulatory approvals needed for U.S. companies to provide marketing information to Saudi officials, and U.S. companies submitted proposals to Saudi authorities regarding the proposed tender for the construction of nuclear reactors. In September 2018, Energy Minister Rick Perry and Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Minister Khalid al Falih met in Washington, D.C., discussing “the potential of a civilian nuclear engagement between the United States and Saudi Arabia and new technologies such as small modular reactors.” 1.C 46 In September 2019, Minister Perry wrote to then-Minister Al Falih to say that “the terms of Agreement 123 must also include a commitment by the Kingdom to renounce any enrichment and reprocessing for the duration of the agreement.” 147 In November 2017, officials from Saudi Arabia and OPEC countries agreed to extend joint cuts until 2018. In response to the reduction in oil production due to unrest in Venezuela and U.S.
sanctions against Iran, a general agreement was reached in June 2018 to review production levels. In June 2018, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a bilateral energy cooperation agreement that, according to the Saudi and Russian energy ministers, “aims for a balanced market, supported by reliable and sufficient supply.” 129 OPEC officials reviewed production targets in December 2018. In June 2019, the Heads of State and Government again announced an agreement to extend coordinated production volumes until March 2020,130 OPEC announced a further reduction of 500,000 barrels in December 2019 and Saudi officials introduced further voluntary reductions. According to press reports, OPEC countries are considering further price cuts to stabilize prices, as there are concerns that a reduction in economic activity due to the emergence of the COVID 19 coronavirus could limit oil demand by mid-2020. On December 6, 2019, an aeronautical student from Saudi Arabia, Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, shot dead three people and wounded eight others.