OPEC May Give Trump Energy Goals a Boost

An agreement to cut production could lead to higher global oil prices

Overall, the net amount of energy brought into the country fell to 11.2% of domestic need in 2015 from 30.1% in 2006, according to Gregor Macdonald, an independent energy analyst.

.. Energy experts say the biggest barrier to additional increased domestic oil production today is the low price of crude, not red tape.

 .. OPEC, which declined to curtail its output to put a floor on prices two years ago, is now trying to reach an agreement this week in Vienna to cut production as a way to address a continuing imbalance between supply and demand.
.. That may be a boon for Mr. Trump and U.S. oil and gas producers, who helped create the global glut by using advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing to unlock new supplies.
.. In August 2008, the U.S. produced five million barrels a day of crude oil.
.. That is down from a peak of 9.6 million barrels daily in April 2015
.. Many people close to the incoming president view Saudi Arabia, a key OPEC member, with distrust. One of Mr. Trump’s key energy advisers is Harold Hamm, the chairman and chief executive of Continental Resources Inc. Mr. Trump has praised him as an “amazing friend” and a valuable guide on energy issues.
.. There is no question that the U.S. has the capacity to ramp up production, if prices support it.
.. There is a sea of oil, in particular, in West Texas’ Permian Basin. The U.S. Geological Survey recently estimated that the area’s Wolfcamp Shale held 20 billion barrels of oil. That is three times the size of the Bakken Shale in North Dakota, and the largest continuous oil accumulation ever assessed in the U.S.


.. Mr. Trump’s vision of energy independence has been largely achieved. “The entire vision of an America as an energy powerhouse that produces more of its own energy, uses more of its own energy and exports the surplus…it is already here,” he said.

The Obama administration didn’t promote that vision, he added. “The reason America doesn’t know that is because of a failure of sales and marketing.”

.. “The popularity of the U.S. president is directly related to the price of gasoline at the pump,” said Bill Ritter, a former Colorado governor and director of the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University.