‘I thought the Saudis had gone mad’ — a week into the oil market collapse
Interviews with dozens of Opec officials, government advisers, traders and energy executives build a picture of a sector that was perched precariously and is now in free fall
Saudi Arabia’s energy minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, summoned his counterparts in oil cartel Opec to the Park Hyatt hotel in Vienna for crisis talks last Thursday evening.
Earlier that day, the oil cartel had announced plans for additional production cuts of 1.5-million barrels a day for the next three months in response to collapsing global demand because of the coronavirus outbreak. But just hours later, the proposal was in trouble. The oil market was not buying it and — worse — neither was Russia, Opec’s partner in a three-year alliance.