The essential point about oil dependency is that the Saudi regime depends on oil revenues for its survival, so SA can’t stop selling oil for very long. And since oil is fungible, stopping the sale of oil is the only way for SA not to sell to us — otherwise we can always buy oil via intermediaries. So which nation is really in a vulnerable position here? I don’t think it’s us.
We have allowed the Saudis to use a couple of brief supply interruptions in the distant past, whose effects we exacerbated with our foolish policy of keeping price controls on petroleum products, to bluff us into a state of perpetual deference to them. Since we no longer have price controls, and since we now have several major alternative suppliers, not to mention a military choke hold on the entire Middle East, perhaps it’s time we gave less weight to the Saudis’ wishes.