Mar 17, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Senators to press Saudis on oil markets

Sen. Dan Sullivan

Sen. Dan Sullivan (R- Alaska) is hosting a meeting with Saudi leaders. Photo: Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

A group of Republican senators is slated to meet with the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. tomorrow to make the case that the kingdom should back off plans to flood the market with low-price crude.

Driving the news: The meeting hosted by Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan follows an open letter to Saudi leaders from 13 senators, mostly from oil-producing states, which says "unsettled" energy markets are "unwelcome" amid the COVID-19 crisis.

We urge the Kingdom to assert constructive leadership in stabilizing the world economy by calming economic anxiety in the oil and gas sector at a time when countries around the world are addressing the pandemic.

Quick take: The long-shot effort to prod the Saudis into reconsidering their posture underscores the limits of White House claims of U.S. "energy dominance."

  • While the U.S. has become the world's largest crude oil producer, it remains deeply tethered to global markets.
  • The price collapse is hitting U.S. producers hard, with a suite of companies already announcing steep cuts in planned spending.

Go deeper: Coronavirus could lead to a wave of defaults for oil companies

Go deeper