At the end of 2013, the price of a barrel of oil started to fall and within two years it had lost 70% of its value. This downturn in oil could have been just one more event in the story of oil prices, but it also revealed an incredible scenario.
By becoming the planet’s largest producer of the black gold because of their shale oil, the United States overturned the world order in oil that had prevailed since the Second World War. In a major strategic change, the Americans were no longer dependent on oil from their Saudi allies, who had come under suspicion following the September 11th attacks of 2001.
To counter this power grab, Saudi Arabia engaged in a game of poker by producing surplus oil in order to drive the price of a barrel as low as possible and bring off a triple coup: ruin the American shale oil industry and weaken its worst enemies, Russia and Iran.
A highly risky strategy, but a scenario full of surprising twists. A gripping game of poker between states with winners and losers, all watched by those who speculate and set the market: the traders.
Meanwhile, the oil companies are laying off workers and delaying future exploration for longer and longer.
Is this poker game the herald of the post-oil world?