US Reps. call on Commerce Department to investigate Saudi oil deliveries

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FILE – In this Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017, file photo, a flame burns at the Shell Deer Park oil refinery in Deer Park, Texas. Oil prices are plunging Sunday, March 8, 2020, amid worries that an OPEC dispute will lead a virus-weakened economy to be awash in an oversupply of crude. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

WASHINGTON (Big 2/Fox 24) – U.S. Representatives, Mike Conaway, Will Hurd and Kelly Armstrong are urging the U.S. Department of Commerce to investigate the potentially illegal delivery of oil.

In a letter to Secretary Wilbur Ross, Congressional leaders claim the US oil and gas industry was the “deliberate target of sustained and orchestrated attacks to destroy the American energy renaissance and weaken our national security.”

This has been echoed by local energy leaders in the Permian Basin. Latigo Petroleum CEO Kirk Edwards says Saudi Arabia has sent several tankers carrying crude oil to the shores of Texas.

“When you have Saudi Arabia literally dumping millions of barrels of oil a day into the Gulf Coast refining complex at unprecedented low prices and blocking out all the domestic production… there’s no way that can be a free market when you have a foreign country doing that to American producers,” Edwards said.

In the letter to the Commerce Department, Representatives say they have heard reports of Saudi Arabia sending roughly seven times the amount of a typical month’s worth of crude oil. Meanwhile, crude prices plummeted as local producers struggle to find a market for their product or sufficient storage.

The trio of representatives are asking the Commerce Department to investigate the reports and hold Saudi Arabia accountable for any “potential actions to intentionally weaken America’s energy independence.”

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