Donald Trump is president-elect with promises of oil promoting ideas. OPEC, led by Saudi Arabia, is cutting oil production.
My relatives at Thanksgiving with oil insights were happy for the outlook, whether they liked Trump or not.
One family from western Colorado said nearly 20 percent of their customers in a health-related industry had been oil-production workers. Their jobs were eliminated by recent market declines because of OPEC market control and our government’s failure to protect domestic production.
Most of those workers, they said, went into jobs like truck driving, but they had to move.
One Texas relative said she is preparing to move back into oil pipelines and petrochemicals investments.
Another Texan said he saw some companies doing more machinery maintenance toward perhaps being ready to move.
In Marion County, we were moving to higher natural gas and related oil production during initial fracking production. There is still a promise of increased production here even though some projects have been on hold for a few years.
So, where is all of this coming together toward energy independence? Trump could find he needs to do something big, or he may find he really has to do very little because it’s already coming together.
He may find he is a president that gets a lot of credit for only turning a few regulatory rules loose here and there.
Oil imports fell from 30 percent in 2006 to 11.21 percent in 2015. Many producers say they need the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to raise crude prices.
They say the barrier to production is prices, not red tape.
With the new technologies, companies have gained in horizontal drilling and fracking, an increase in price could drive greater American production that might surpass what OPEC would find uneconomical to suppress again.
Trump has said, “I will cancel job-killing restrictions of American energy, including shale energy and clean coal, creating millions of high-paying jobs.”
He may really do this, but as industry spokesmen point out, all he has to do is help create an industry ready to produce without the inordinate regulations of his predecessors.
American producers also are saying domestic production gives Trump great room to maneuver help to American allies.
Industry leaders say there is a “great sea of oil” in the West Texas Permian Basin.
The U.S. Geological Survey estimates the Texas Wolfcamp Shale holds 20 billion barrels of oil, bigger than the largest volume of oil ever assessed in the United States—three times as much as the Bakken Shale of South Dakota. Production there is rated at about two million barrels a day but could double or triple within a few years.
The vision of the United States as an energy power is here.
Or on the negative side, Bill Riiter, former governor of Colorado said of the price of gasoline at the pump: “You are in really dangerous territory if a president impacts it.”
Jerry Engler, retired reporter with the Free Press, lives on the north end of the Marion Reservoir. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.