The US Antitrust accuses the image of shale oil: Sheffield (Pioneer) colluding with OPEC | EUROtoday

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Collapsed with OPEC. And subsequently unworthy of becoming a member of the ExxonMobil board. Those made in opposition to Scott Sheffield by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the US Antitrust Authority, are severe accusations, which might result in an indictment, which, in an effort to give the inexperienced gentle to the merger between the primary US oil firm and Pioneer Natural Resources, set the conditional on the banning of the founder and CEO of the latter, in workplace till December. The 60 billion greenback deal will occur. But an ignominious curtain falls on the profession of Sheffield – one of the crucial well-known and esteemed protagonists on the planet of shale oil.

Kyle Mach, deputy director of the FTC's competitors division, comes down laborious: “Mr. Sheffield's past conduct makes it crystal clear why he shouldn't even be anywhere near Exxon's boardroom.” Even harsher feedback than these put in black and white within the FTC assertion, which speaks of the necessity to stop Sheffield from «partaking in collusive actions that might doubtlessly elevate oil costs, main American shoppers and companies to pay larger costs for petrol, diesel, heating oil and jet gas”.

The very language chosen to justify the ostracism towards Sheffield reinforces the doubt that it is a political maneuver with a populist flavour, in keeping with the pre-election period. In November we vote for the White House, prices at the pump are high and Joe Biden is short of remedies, given that he has already made extensive use of the sale of barrels from the SPR, the federal strategic reserve. The perception of how much expensive oil is dear to the candidates can weigh heavily in guiding the choices of US voters. And Sheffield is a convenient scapegoat.

The FTC cites the oilman's appeals to rein in shale oil operations, when in 2020 Covid had caused demand to collapse and crude oil prices had even ended below zero. He points the finger at his “efforts to coordinate manufacturing ranges” with OPEC+, in order to keep them “artificially low”. Remember that Sheffield had urged the Railroad Commission of Texas, a body that in theory has the authority to impose cuts in oil production, to set an example. And even before Covid, he recalls that there had been meetings between representatives of the shale oil industry and OPEC officials, including a dinner in 2017 with Mohammed Barkindo, then secretary general of the Organization, who died in 2022.

Sheffield was not the one US citizen to take part in these conferences, which had already been identified for a while: there have been additionally industrialists and bankers, as frequently reported by the media. Il Sole 24 Ore had additionally given an account of this, noting slightly that the CEO of Pioneer appeared to have constructed a privileged relationship, a lot in order that in 2018 he was the one consultant of the US oil trade to not desert the OPEC Seminar, the biennial convention of group in Vienna.