While the world is pre-occupied by Donald Trump’s verbal indiscretions, the international oil & gas industry is looking on with interest hoping that the US electorate see through the personal attacks and recriminations to elect a President that can bolster the energy sector.
I believe Trump will be good for the oil industry, Clinton the opposite. Never mind the fact that her lack of business experience will not help her, also her long history with the CIA and other US ‘agencies’ I believe will be distrusted by the newer powerhouse economies like India and China, and not forgetting of course the newest international player, Iran.
Whilst they are undoubtedly both have issues, Trump’s businesses acumen puts him head and shoulders in front.
Trump is in business, he’s a survivor and a fighter, indeed the qualities he claimed to admire in Hillary. He has flourished and understands how business works, which could very much benefit America and the oil industry as he shores up relationships with the Middle East. He has also come back from the brink, and understands how hard business is, and how to manage a market and object handle in a commercial sense.
Having already backed away from some of his more extreme and not well thought out views on Muslims, he can actually make a positive difference to US-Middle East oil relations.
I completely agree with his stance on creating more trade for the US by making it conditional that countries wanting to make headway in the US market must invest in the same. The UK, never mind adopting the same attitude amidst the threats from some in the EU of isolating the country post-Brexit, should also be applying pressure to the myriad of countries that accept some of the billions of British tax payer funds that are handed out, especially in resource rich countries in Africa, as well as other parts of the world.
Trump is massively invested in the Arabian Gulf and I believe he can even heal the rifts with Iran and get the US oilfield working there too. He will stabilise the oilfield and make it work, supporting US independence for oil and will also drive investment overseas and, indeed, increase US influence.
The US can provide massive support into Iran, Iraq and parts of Africa, help stabilise economies as well as providing the conditions for the US to benefit with consistent pricing and natural resource supply.
So, of course, can the UK; imagine if the two world-leading economies actually got together and jointly promoted this. The UK is very well respected in many parts of the world the US is less trusted, and by joining forces this could really be a meaningful partnership in a post Brexit world.
The international energy industry, which includes the truly-global UK supply chain, will be looking closely at the election with the hope and, perhaps, expectation a Trump election will bolster oil activity.
UK oil sector firms with operations in the US and in the Middle East will hope for a double success from having Trump in the White House, as it will open doors in both markets.
Entrepreneurial US companies, for example, will be encouraged to develop their relationships with the international market, including innovative British companies with technology-led solutions.
It’s worth saying that Trump’s interests in the Middle East are largely not particularly linked to the oilfield sector; his money was made in real estate and he continues to invest in that, but he believes in supporting the national interest, which will benefit the energy sector.
To my mind, Hillary Clinton won’t back the sector. She supports wind and solar and is against further offshore drilling. She is also a staunch advocate of environmental policies and will support alternative energy in all ways.
I also believe this will have a detrimental effect to the US economy as well in a broader sense.
Richard Upshall is the executive chairman of OES Oilfield Services Group