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Oil Price Continues To Fall, Now Below $20

April 15, 2020 (EIRNS)—U.S. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette tried to brush off the continuing oil price collapse in an interview with CNBC. The OPEC+ deal which President Donald Trump helped facilitate between Saudi Arabia and Russia was intended to stop the collapse in the oil price, but it has continued falling, and is now under $20/barrel.

“Oil prices are down more than 55% year-to-date,” said Brouillette, “having experienced the worst price plunges in nearly two decades in the face of record supply, disappearing storage space and global demand eviscerated by coronavirus lockdowns around the world.”

Perhaps crossing his fingers behind his back, he said:

“I think we may be at a floor. I think the intent of this conversation with OPEC and the rest of the G20 countries is simply to do exactly that, to mitigate.... I don’t think that [a price hike] was the intent of the conversation, at least with regard to the United States. I think it was more important for us to stem the losses that were occurring all throughout the marketplace as a result of some of the activities and that loss of demand as a result of the pandemic. [It] is very important that we not allow the market to continue down to what could have been single-digit numbers for the price of a barrel of oil.”

CNBC also reports on the destruction to the frackers, saying that the “highly-indebted oil producers in the U.S. [have begun] filing for bankruptcy. Up to 240,000 oil-related jobs in the U.S. will be lost this year, according to consultancy firm Rystad Energy.”

Brouillette said he wants the Congress to expand the storage capacity of the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserves to make it more available for domestic industry storage. U.S. law authorizes up to 1 billion barrels of storage in the strategic reserves, so any expansion would require Congressional approval.

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