Trump to “look at” stopping Saudi oil imports, help domestic oil industry
U.S. President Donald Trump announced that his administration was considering halting crude oil shipments from Saudi Arabia to help the local drilling industry.
At a daily news conference, Trump said that his administration will “look at” the suggestion raised by Republican lawmakers.
U.S. crude oil futures slumped for the first time in history on Monday, closing at -$37.63 per barrel as traders rushed to a sell-off as oil reserves filled up.
The record price fall threatened the U.S. oil industry into bankruptcy.
Trump said that the collapse in prices was due to a “financial squeeze,” but added that the oil industry was heavily affected by weak demand.
The U.S. president reiterated that his administration will fill up the country’s emergency oil reserve as prices drop.
The Department of Energy is set to lease some of the 77 million barrels of storage space to oil companies in the United States. This came after commercial storage became insufficient due to demand slump.
Trump’s administration initially wanted to buy the crude oil, but funding was still being processed in the Congress.
Asked if he still wanted the funding to be approved, Trump said that the oil reserves will be filled either way.