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Expert that predicted Texas power grid failure expects six months of high oil prices

PHOTO: Getty Images
PHOTO: Getty Images
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SAN ANONIO – As the United States bans the import of Russian energy, the Kremlin has threatened if enough Western countries cut Russian oil, there would be “catastrophic consequences for the global market” - possibly doubling the price of oil to a staggering $300 a barrel.

The Trouble Shooters spoke with a Texas energy expert who says the Kremlin used his team’s math to make that threat.

Back in 2010, Ed Hirs and his colleagues wrote a paper outlining how the U.S. could become energy independent over a 10-year period. He says the Kremlin’s math comes straight from that paper, which got a lot of attention from oil-producing countries.

“The Russians have read our papers, as have all of the OPEC nations,” says Hirs, who is now an Energy Fellow at University of Houston.

He says the Kremlin’s threat of $300 barrel prices is a worst-case scenario that would shoot up prices at Texas gas pumps to $9 or $10 a gallon.

But he’s not expecting that to happen - and says we’re probably seeing gas prices peak right now.

However, banning Russian energy is a moral decision that does comes with a price. So the question is: how long are Americans willing to pay that price?

“I think we're going to see higher oil prices continue for the next six months, depending upon the length of time this conflict goes,” Hirs says.

For some perspective on the potential domino effect, the United States uses 18 to 20 million barrels a day but only produces about 11.5 million. Russia exports 7 million barrels worldwide, accounting for about 7% of the global market.

Hirs is the expert who predicted the Texas power grid would collapse from underinvestment, just like the Soviet Union - a prediction that came true during last year’s winter storm. The irony isn’t lost on him that once again, we are talking about Russia.

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