US President Donald Trump said that he invited American oil executives to the White House to discuss ways to help the devastated industry due to declining energy demand from the coronavirus outbreak and the price tug of war between Saudi Arabia and Russia.
Trump also said that he recently spoke with leaders from both Russia and Saudi Arabia and believes that the two countries will conclude a deal to end the price war between them within a few days.
"I will meet the oil producers on Friday, and I will also meet the independent oil producers on Friday or Saturday, maybe on Sunday." Trump told reporters at a news conference: "We'll have a lot of meetings about that."
International oil prices have fallen by nearly two-thirds this year as the coronavirus has violently hit global economies, while major producers Saudi Arabia and Russia have begun to flood the market with oil.
A senior Gulf source told Reuters that the Kingdom supports cooperation between oil producers to achieve price stability, but Russia's opposition to last month's proposal to increase supply cuts has caused market turmoil.
The collapse in prices has the once-thriving US drilling industry facing bankruptcy and massive layoffs and Washington is seeking ways to protect this sector.
In upcoming meetings with oil executives, Trump is expected to discuss a range of options to help the industry, including the possibility of imposing tariffs on oil imports from Saudi Arabia. This according to the Wall Street Journal, which was the first to report on the planned meetings.
Trump has described the price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia as crazy, and the US President has spoken to his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, on this issue. Plans are underway to send a special envoy to Riyadh to press for production cuts.
Two industrial sources said that the supply of Saudi crude rose yesterday to a record level by more than 12 million barrels per day despite the low demand caused by the outbreak of the coronavirus and American pressure on the Arabian Kingdom to stop flooding the market.