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24 Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 277 (2017)


On November 27, 2014, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries met in Vienna and adopted a bold stance against increasing supply from beyond the reach of the cartel. Rather than reduce their own production, the cartel decided to allow market forces to dictate the price of a barrel of oil. By doing this, Saudi Arabia-the de-facto leader of the cartel-made a bet that the burgeoning shale gas industry within the United States would be unable to cope with a sharp fall in the price of oil. Over the course of the following two years, the U.S. energy sector-aided by further technological development-surprised Saudi Arabia with its resiliency to withstand a low oil price environment. This note explores how this tactic by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries was thwarted, why the oil industry is devoid of any global oversight, and what this means for the future of the Oil Industry.