David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief May 16, 2020 1:12 PM ET
With oil prices going through the floor as the United States economy struggles from the coronavirus pandemic, China and other foreign countries could pick up some Texas oil at bargain basement prices.
The national lockdown has devastated the energy sector with cars not being driven to work, airline travel at a near halt — and bankruptcy a constant concern, Fox Business News reported Saturday.
The price of a barrel of oil recently fell below $0 a barrel.
Even before the COVID-19 economic slump hit, 98 Texas energy companies had filed for bankruptcy since 2015, according to Fox Business.
The stay-at-home orders across the country accounted for 30 million barrels a day in lost revenue while a price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia contributed to the global glut of petroleum, Fox Business reported. (RELATED: ‘Uncharted Territory’: Energy Analysts Worry Oil Prices Could Fall Below Zero, Forcing Producers To Radical Measures)
With so many companies struggling to survive, it makes them targets for China — who is always seeking to expand its energy portfolio. If China or another hostile foreign power gains control of America’s oil production, it becomes not just an economic calamity but a national security concern.
“I believe it’s a national security concern to allow unfriendly foreign countries to come in and buy land and oil in Texas and the United States,” Texas Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian told Fox Business. (RELATED: A Barrel Of Oil Now Costs Less Than An Actual Barrel)
Fox Business noted that the Permian region of Texas was the site of a major energy discovery in 2018 when the area unlocked 46.3 billion barrels of crude, 281 trillion cubic feet of gas and 20 billion barrels of natural gas liquids.
Finding those resources meant the U.S. had twice the amount of oil and gas reserves that it had previously thought and paved the way for America’s current energy independence that President Donald Trump has touted.