The US government shutdown has had an effect on many things, but perhaps one of the most frightening is the effect it has had on one of our nation’s most essential resources: Oil. Although there is no reason for a panic yet, the government shutdown has already started to effect the oil industry and may continue to do so if the shutdown does not come to an end soon.
Although the effect on oil companies has been relatively minor thus far, a continuation of the shutdown could cause significant issues. The price of oil has risen slightly since the shutdown was first announced and has fluctuated quite a bit, and those who work in or depend on the oil industry are beginning to get nervous and feel the effects of the shutdown.
The Keystone XL pipeline has been in the works as a mean to transport synthetic crude oil and crude oil from Alberta, Canada and the northern part of the United States but has not yet gained U.S. government approval. Due to the government shutdown, the review and approval of this project has been slowed almost to a halt; this is due to the difficulty of coordinating between the various agencies that are involved in this project. Not only does this slow down the process of transporting oil to the Gulf Coast of the United States, but it also prevents the job growth that will be associated with the pipeline.