They (OPEC, led by the Saudis) flooded the market with oil to drive the prices down to kill the american oil production market.
Hey, Saudi Arabia, that would work if the US's only industry was oil or even if the only core industry was oil. But you forgot something... America manufactures cars, steel, food, furniture, etc. We invent, we innovate. And, like the Marine Corp, we improvise, we adapt, we overcome.
So over the past 2-3 years some american exploration & production companies have gone out of business. A few more have gone bankrupt. Several have merged with other companies. Because of this, A LOT of oil & gas workers have been put out of the work they loved doing and have lost the good income that went with that job.
Congratulations(?) Saudi Arabia, for accomplishing that? You did put a dent in that 1 (ONE) industry... for while. You didn't knock the US out of the game though because, unlike you, oil production isn't our only/core industry (see above for examples). So while you tried to live off your savings account, American workers shifted to other jobs (because we have them. You... not so much). The E&P companies, for the most part, have found a way to survive (again, see above).
Saudi Arabia you were playing a sucker's game from the start. Learned your lesson yet? Here's one more lesson in our ability to adapt, improvise and overcome: The US oil & gas industry won't get back to work when oil prices rise - The US oil & gas industry will get back to work when production costs drop. Let's check-in and see how that's going...
Operations have become so hyper-efficient and the cost (to produce) per barrel of oil has been so dramatically reduced by a series of things – from rig efficiencies to completion technology applications and process changes – that has really created an extremely interesting environment for E&P companies to generate the kinds of returns they and their investors hope to see.
It’s hard to overstate the positive impact of how change in efficiencies and productivity that E&Ps are seeing from their service providers has had on the industry. You look at basins that before required $50 or $60 per barrel to be economic … today with how efficient the industry has become, those costs might be down to $40 a barrel.
So, Saudi Arabia, regardless of what your lemmings in OPEC do, we'll be okay over here on our own. Thanks for playing.