This has been a long time coming. Many people who voted for Donald Trump have only dreamed about these types of scenarios to take place. Now they seem to be happening.
The president-elect has said repeatedly that the U.S. needs to block all oil imports from Saudi Arabia.
During his campaign Trump vowed to secure U.S. energy independence from “our foes and the oil cartels,” while also creating “complete American energy independence.”
However, on Wednesday, Saudi Arabia’s oil minister fired back. Khalid Al-Falih, also the chairman of Aramco, said in an interview that “at his heart President-elect Trump will see the benefits [of Saudi oil imports] and I think the oil industry will also be advising him accordingly that blocking trade in any product is not healthy.”
The Saudi oil minister added that Saudis are waiting for Trump’s presidency, as his presidential campaign had amounted to “50,000 feet announcements” that may change.
Despite the U.S. shale oil boom, which has made it the third largest global crude oil producer, the country still relies heavily on Saudi crude imports. Saudi Arabia is the largest Middle Eastern oil supplier to the U.S. with an 11% market share and has also invested heavily in U.S. downstream assets (refineries) to help lock in that supply. Around 31% of all U.S. oil imports are from OPEC members, while Canadian oil imports have a 41% share.