The recent invitation by OPEC for US officials to join in production freeze talks is clearly a nod to the production powerhouse Americas has become as a result of the shale revolution. But it wasn’t always that way. Just ask former US Energy Secretary Bill Richardson, who, 16 years ago, was the point person in talks with Saudi Arabia to boost production, which would keep US gasoline prices stable. Richardson’s tenure from 1998 through 2000 came at a much different time for both the US’ relations with OPEC and its role in the world oil market. For one, the US was producing only about 5.9 million b/d and was in the midst of a historic supply decline that would crater at about 3.9 million b/d by October 2005. In the spring of 2000, Richardson was urging Saudi Arabia through phone calls and what he called “quiet diplomacy” to orchestrate […]