Re: 'On Earth, petroleum once turned petty thugs into world leaders'
What makes you think they were talking about (just) Saudis? He could just as easily been referring to the oil dynasty of ancient Myanmar - or to John Rockefeller, or to Halliburton, or to any of a number of other oil magnates and companies, depending on what 23rd century history has to say about them.
As the brilliant philosopher once said... Everybody, have fun tonight. Everybody, Wang Chung tonight.