Oklahoma Governor John Kevin Stitt called on President Donald Trump to declare the Coronavirus pandemic a natural disaster (“God’s act”) to help oil-producing states deal with the fuel oversupply that made oil futures prices negative a few days ago.
“Oil overproduction continues to threaten the economy,” Stitt said in a letter to Trump that the governor posted on Twitter on Saturday.
The announcement of a “force majeure” or “act of God” will allow oil companies to suspend operations without fear of land leases being canceled due to the production stoppage, said Stutt.
Oklahoma’s energy regulator said on Wednesday that producers could close loss-making wells without fear of losing their leases. This is the first victory of the U.S. oil companies, which got into a difficult situation and are seeking help from the states after the fall of the markets.