Calling on Russia and Saudi Arabia to urgently resolve the global oil output crisis, President Donald Trump said he will do whatever it takes – except for cutting the US’ own oil production, apparently – to protect American jobs.
“I will do whatever it takes to protect US oil jobs,” Trump told reporters at a daily Covid-19 task force press briefing. “We are the number one producer in the world right now… I am a big believer in our great energy business, and we are going to take care of our energy business.”
If I have to level tariffs on all imported oil coming into this country, I will.
“I’ve been against OPEC all my life, because what is it? It’s an illegal, you could call it a cartel, you could call it a monopoly, but it broke down very violently, so I don’t care about OPEC, I couldn’t care less about OPEC. They are destroying themselves,” the US president said.
Washington was not part of any recent oil cut agreement, and while calling on Russia and Saudi Arabia to come to terms, Trump never indicated whether ‘whatever it takes’ would include the US potentially cutting its own oil production, even to save shale producers severely hit by the recent oil market rout.
Meanwhile, an emergency meeting between the members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and their allies willing to support the tumbling oil market slated for Monday was abruptly postponed until Thursday, allegedly due to standing disagreements between Saudi Arabia and Russia.
Moscow is ready to support the cuts of up to 10 million barrels per day – but only if other players join in – Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday. At the same time, he casually noted that Saudi Arabia’s withdrawal from the agreement was apparently meant to get rid of US shale producers.
Riyadh was quick to refute the accusation, calling it “fully devoid of truth,” but energy sector experts told RT that as a close partner which strongly depends on the Americans, Saudi Arabia simply “can’t bluntly state that its main goal is fighting the US shale companies.”
The so-called ‘Shale Revolution’ in the US in recent years has deprived the Saudis of a huge chunk of the American oil market. After failing to find common ground with Russia on how to respond to the pandemic, Saudi Arabia began pumping oil at such an intense rate that prices saw their sharpest drop since the Gulf War in 1991.
Energy experts agree that a fresh formula of cooperation between the oil countries is gravely needed. These must include the OPEC nations – of which Saudi Arabia is a major player – as well as Russia and other states that joined the OPEC+ format between 2017 and 2020, and those who never participated in the group, including the US.
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