July 28, 2021

In the United States, the black gold crisis threatens Donald Trump’s oil dreams

Harold Hamm called on the White House for help. The Oklahoma oil mogul, Donald Trump’s backer and unofficial adviser to the President of the United States on energy affairs, lost $ 2 billion (about 1.8 billion euros) on Monday, March 9, due to the collapse of crude prices on the markets.

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Continental Resources, the company he founded and in which he owns 75% of the capital, is now worth only $ 2.6 billion, compared to $ 20 billion less than a year ago. And he needs Mr. Trump’s help. “I don’t want to prescribe to the president what to do”, the 74-year-old entrepreneur told Washington Post. But he wants to address how the oil war between Russia and Saudi Arabia “Threatens the jobs, communities and economies of producing states across America, from Pennsylvania to California and from Texas to North Dakota”.

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The oil crash is a disaster for shale gas and oil producers in Oklahoma and the Permian Basin of Texas, the decisive state for Donald Trump’s re-election, in November. The latter publicly rejoiced at the drop, which is “Good for consumers”. In reality, it is a disaster for its oil strongholds in the Midwest.

Officially, of course, the Republicans are not asking for a public bailout, as is Mike Sommers, head of the American Petroleum Institute, which represents the industry. The usual tactic is to invoke national security and denounce the manipulations of the Russians to call for help, as did Anne Bradbury, chief executive of the American Exploration and Production Council, which represents twenty-five independent oil producers: “We need sound regulations and policies that allow independent US producers to remain the world leaders in energy development to ensure our country retains the energy independence we have sought for decades. “

Abundance of supply, crisis of demand

Russia’s questioning comes at a time when the price war launched by Riyadh and Moscow is explicitly targeting American shale oil producers, which enabled the United States to rise, in 2018, to the rank of the world’s leading producer of shale oil. gross.

Regardless of world prices, Uncle Sam had become the spoilsport of the black gold market. Since 2017, the more American production grew, the more the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia had to impose quotas in order to avoid a collapse in prices.

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