Instead of finding a way to overcome their differences. Both sides misread the determination of the other to stick to their guns. Even as the finances of both nations took a pounding, they left the meeting promising to open the taps and grab market share with the inevitable result that oil prices crashed.
"Russia had miscalculated the Saudi response," a veteran Russian oil insider said. "Moscow had never thought the Saudis would threaten to raise production so steeply. We thought they would just carry on with existing cuts."
Saudi Arabia for its part also misjudged the magnitude of the oil demand collapse that sent oil prices to their lowest in almost two decades.
quickly found that, in a market awash with crude, even usually reliable buyers don't want more and steep discounts do little to change this. Oil majors and big importing nations alike have spurned the extra cargoes.
Now both sides may now have a chance to reconsider - and possibly a way to claim they were both right. If a deal is reached, Riyadh can say pumping more crude forced Russia back to the table. If others join in, Moscow can say the virus has had a bigger impact than anything OPEC+ alone could have dealt with.
Trump, who has said Moscow and Riyadh "went crazy" by pumping more after their supply deal fell apart, stunned the market on Thursday by saying he had brokered a deal with Saudi Arabia and Russia.
"I expect and hope that they will be cutting back approximately 10 Million Barrels, and maybe substantially more which, if it happens, will be great for the oil & gas industry!" Trump wrote on Twitter, citing a figure for cuts that would be equivalent to 10% of global supply.
Trump was due to meet U.S. company executives on Thursday, but a senior administration official said U.S. domestic producers would not be asked to chip in with their own cuts.
However, even if U.S. producers don't voluntarily take part, they may be forced to. With oil at such low prices, they may have to shut down a lot of higher cost oil production -- or they will have ask for state funds to keep them afloat.
Any formal agreement to cooperate with OPEC
would be complex because of the antitrust laws. But some U.S. shale producers in Texas have requested the energy regulator mandate cuts for the first time in 50 years - and one of the three commissioners at the U.S. energy regulator has said it might make sense to do so.
The commissioner, Ryan Sitton, held a call with OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo last month.
"There is so much oil and in some cases it's probably less valuable than water ... We've never seen anything like it," Trump said after speaking to Putin.
U.S. officials have discussed a number of ideas about how the country can help manage global oil markets.
But in a nod to Moscow, Washington offered this week to begin lifting Venezuela sanctions if the opposition and members of the government agreed to form an interim government, shifting on a policy Moscow has called unfair.
The OPEC source said it was not clear what Washington could propose to Riyadh to alleviate the crisis.
It is also far from clear if the producers can act fast enough to make a swift difference in these turbulent times.
"You can see every now and then when Trump says he will talk to Putin about energy, the market picks up a bit," said Saad Rahim, chief economist at trader Trafigura. "But ... it's too late."