OPEC

Expert Voices

NOPEC bill risks volatile oil prices and blowback from U.S. allies

Rep. Steve Chabot
Rep. Steve Chabot (R–Ohio), sponsor of the House NOPEC bill. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

The No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act (NOPEC) — previously introduced during both the Bush and Obama administrations — remains relatively under the radar, but could rattle global oil markets.

The big picture: The bill aims to weaken the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) by removing sovereign immunity from states that cooperate to influence oil production, thereby allowing for antitrust action. If enacted and enforced, it could trigger oil price fluctuations, market instability and new risks to U.S. foreign relations.

Saudi Arabia threatens to stop using dollars for oil to block 'NOPEC'

Oil industry well pump
Photo: Mlenny/Getty Images

Saudi Arabia said they will start selling oil in currencies other than the U.S. dollar if Capitol Hill passes a bill making OPEC members vulnerable to anti-trust lawsuits, reports Reuters.

What it means: This threat shows the seriousness that Saudi Arabia is taking the pending legislation most of Washington considers very unlikely to happen. That seriousness should make everyone else consider it more of a live debate too.