China Poised To Buy Up Texas Oil Amid Coronavirus Slump

(Nicolas Asfouri-Pool/Getty Images)

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief
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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.

GARDEN CITY, TX - FEBRUARY 05: An oil well owned an operated by Apache Corporation in the Permian Basin are viewed on February 5, 2015 in Garden City, Texas. The well produces about 55-70 barrels of oil per day. As crude oil prices have fallen nearly 60 percent globally, many American communities that became dependent on oil revenue are preparing for hard times. Texas, which benefited from hydraulic fracturing and the shale drilling revolution, tripled its production of oil in the last five years. The Texan economy saw hundreds of billions of dollars come into the state before the global plunge in prices. Across the state drilling budgets are being slashed and companies are notifying workers of upcoming layoffs. According to federal labor statistics, around 300,000 people work in the Texas oil and gas industry, 50 percent more than four years ago. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

An oil well owned an operated by Apache Corporation in the Permian Basin are viewed on February 5, 2015 in Garden City, Texas. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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)

The railroad commission is the state regulator for oil and gas companies.

U.S. President Trump laughs as he speaks at the Shell Pennsylvania Petrochemicals Complex in Monaco, Pennsylvania

U.S. President Donald Trump laughs as he speaks about U.S. energy production and manufacturing at the Shell Pennsylvania Petrochemicals Complex in Monaco, Pennsylvania, U.S. Aug. 13, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

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.