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Photo: LM Otero / AP

A top Bloomberg editor highlights a message being conveyed by Saudi Arabia amid the turbulence in global crude oil: "Saudi Oil minister says the world of energy may be changing, but Aramco will survive longest and pump the last barrel of crude."

In a word, it's defiance.

Why it matters: OPEC's dominant producer, Saudi Arabia, is reacting to a widely perceived threat from U.S. shale oil and forecasts that global oil demand could level off in little more than a decade, and then start to decline. In such a scenario, Saudi and the world's other petro-states — already in their third year of low oil prices — could face even worse fiscal trouble. Saudi is saying: Even if the petro-world does comes apart, we will be the last man standing.

What they said: At a major investment conference in Riyadh, Saudi oil minister Khalid al-Falih said worldwide demand for oil is expected to grow by 45 percent by 2050, Reuters reports.

That comment, coupled with the OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo's prediction last week that demand will rise through at least 2040, contrasts with analyses suggesting that greater efficiency, the rise of electric cars and other factors could bring peak demand far sooner.

  • The prominent consulting firm Wood Mackenzie said in a mid-October report that global oil demand for transportation—the dominant use—could peak by 2030, with an overall peak by 2035. The CEO of Royal Dutch Shell has said a peak could arrive as early as the late 2020s.

Battle with shale: In separate comments, Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser "says he does not spend much time worrying about booming production from U.S. shale fields," according to CNBC. Aramco, the state-owned oil giant, is preparing for a massive IPO next year and seeking to maximize its valuation, though several recent reports note that the timing for an international listing could slip.

  • "The concentration that we are seeing today is on the sweet spot of shale, and this will not last forever," he told the network in an interview.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects that total U.S. crude oil production will reach a new annual average record of 9.9 million barrels per day next year.

Shale production from regions like the Permian Basin in Texas now exceeds 6 million barrels per day, according to the EIA, and U.S. crude oil exports recently reached nearly 2 million barrels a day before dropping back somewhat.

Go deeper

Cuomo says words may have been "misinterpreted" following allegations of harassment

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo at a Feb. 22 news conference. Photo: Seth Wenig/pool/AF via Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a lengthy statement on Sunday saying he " never inappropriately touched anybody" but acknowledged that "some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation," after two of his former aides accused him of sexual harassment.

Why it matters: Prior to Cuomo's statement, in which he adds that he "never inappropriately touched anybody" or meant to make anyone uncomfortable, the governor's office and the state attorney general went back and forth in a public disagreement about how to investigate the allegations.

Cyber CEO: Next war will hit regular Americans online

Any future real-world conflict between the United States and an adversary like China or Russia will have direct impacts on regular Americans because of the risk of cyber attack, Kevin Mandia, CEO of cybersecurity company FireEye, tells "Axios on HBO."

What they're saying: "The next conflict where the gloves come off in cyber, the American citizen will be dragged into it, whether they want to be or not. Period."

Cedric Richmond: We won't wait on GOP for "insufficient" stimulus

Top Biden adviser Cedric Richmond told "Axios on HBO" the White House believes it has bipartisan support for a stimulus bill outside the Beltway.

  • "If our choice is to wait and go bipartisan with an insufficient package, we are not going to do that."

The big picture: The bill will likely undergo an overhaul in the Senate after House Democrats narrowly passed a stimulus bill this weekend, reports Axios' Kadia Goba.