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Biden's Russia-Oil Ban Opens Path for Shale Giants EOG, Devon to Fill the Gap

President Biden criticized industry Tuesday for not making use of drilling permits, half of which are in the prolific Permian Basin.

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President Joe Biden’s ban on Russian oil imports puts new pressure on U.S. drillers to help fill a supply shortfall that has sent crude prices to the highest levels since 2008. Among them: EOG Resources Inc. and Devon Energy Corp., two shale giants that are sitting on thousands of federal drilling permits, many of which could be used to produce more oil from the prolific Permian basin.

EOG and Devon hold more permits than any other company, according to a Bloomberg analysis of federal onshore permitting data, but neither plans to grow production beyond 5% even as U.S. oil futures top $120 a barrel and global markets face historic disruptions. That dissonance is at the center of tension between the U.S. shale industry — which argues it needs long-term government support before it can sustainably raise production — and the Biden administration — which says oil companies should use up the more-than 9,000 drilling permits they already have before asking for further concessions.