U.S. President Joe Biden and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, July 2022
Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty

In October 2022, Saudi Arabia announced that OPEC+, a group of oil-exporting countries, would cut oil production targets substantially: by two million barrels per day. As the world’s top exporter of oil, the Saudis have always taken the lead in the group’s efforts to manage the world oil market. The move had an immediate if relatively modest impact on oil prices, which rose from a low for the year of around $76 per barrel before the announcement to a range of about $82 to $91 by mid-November. The shock felt by Americans was more geopolitical than economic: the Biden administration had asked

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