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"But Washington’s moment of “energy dominance” may have been fleeting, as its shale oil expansion runs out of steam.

President Biden visited Saudi Arabia in July hoping for more OPEC output to compensate for losses from Russia.

Instead, the organization consulted its own interests and cut output in November, apparently wisely given the recent sharp price drops.

American commentators from right to left welcomed the idea that shale would free the US from dependence on the Middle East.

But that goes both ways.

Now the largest importer from, and exporter to Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia, is Beijing, not Washington. Then China was able to mediate the restoration of Riyadh-Tehran relations.

If and when it wants, China will be able to call the shots in Baghdad too."

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