The Odessa Development Corporation (ODC) launched this week ‘The Permian Fuels America’ task force to protect the U.S. industry from oil market manipulation initiated by other countries, convince refiners to buy American oil, and retain the oil workers during this downturn.
Odessa, at the heart of the largest shale producing basin in the United States, the Permian, has been feeling the pinch from the low oil prices and the demand crash in the COVID-19 pandemic.
The mission of ‘The Permian Fuels America’ task force is “to stop this roller coaster ride in oil pricing once and for all by asking our government and American refineries to honor a pledge.”
The task force is asking U.S. refiners to consider purchasing American crude oil over foreign imports when given the opportunity and to acknowledge that “domestic oil production and its workforce are important to the national security of the United States of America.”
“We have to change the status quo of letting foreign governments drive down oil prices every few years,” the chair of the new task force, Latigo Petroleum’s president Kirk Edwards, told Midland Reporter-Telegram.
According to Edwards, the Permian basin alone has probably lost 30,000-40,000 oil industry jobs in the last three months.
‘The Permian Fuels America’ believes that although it is currently devastating for the shale basin, the crisis will be short-lived.
“The true victims of this “perfect storm” of foreign oil price wars and the worldwide COVID pandemic are American oil and gas workers, and in particular, independent producers in the Permian Basin. When Americans buy foreign oil they are taking jobs away from the hardworking men and women of the American oil industry. And all this at a time when U.S. energy independence remains within reach,” the task force says on its website.
The creation of the task force was part of recommendations included in a May 2020 report from The Perryman Group on how to preserve the Permian Basin’s energy sector and the Odessa economy through the COVID-19 and related oil market challenges.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.