Unlike other producers, including U.S. shale producers, it maintained financial strength and flexibility during the last boom. When it began to shift the paradigm of global supply, the kingdom was explicit about its goal—market share—even if it didn’t always trumpet the proactive steps it was taking towards that goal. The now-evident objective of low prices, having been achieved and sustained, begs the question of why Saudi Arabia defended its market share. The position of Saudi Arabia among producers in 2014 resembled the position of Germany in the European Union in prior years. Both had maintained financial strength despite the prodigal habits of other members, and both were called upon to make unique sacrifices to rescue their neighbors. Germany had closer ties to its partners and seemed to see the ultimate benefit of helping. Perhaps because it didn’t have such ties, Saudi seems to have weighed […]