TEXAS, USA — Why would increasing oil production in Texas would not bring down the price of gas right away.
Governor Greg Abbott said that Texas could easily produce enough oil to reduce gas prices if the Biden administration just got out of the way. The White House countered his claim, saying over 9,000 permits to drill were approved but are not being used.
Energy experts say both sides are missing the point.
When it comes to those permits or leases, S&P Global vice chairman Daniel Yergin told PBS, "you don't know if there's any oil there." Even if there is oil, it takes about a year to get a well ready to drill.
Once you do get the oil, there's a good chance refineries in the U.S. would need to make changes to process it. According to energy analyst Josh Rhodes, most refineries in Texas are built to process lower quality crude from places like Russia and Canada, not the high quality crude found in the U.S.
The other issue is the energy industry is still recovering from the COVID pandemic just like other businesses. Demand for gas went off a cliff when we were all told to stay home. That meant many new drilling projects were stopped.
Oil companies have been ramping up production in recent months, but it is not as simple as turning on a faucet. Vice Chairman Yergin says the best thing for consumers would be if the energy industry and political leaders started working together instead of pointing fingers.