(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "We don't want to lose our great oil companies." U.S. President Donald Trump says he's inviting U.S. oil execs to the White House this Friday.
He says they'll talk about how to help an industry hit by a fall in demand for fuel during the coronavirus outbreak as well as a price war between major producers Saudi Arabia and Russia.
The president said Wednesday (April 1) - he'd spoken to leaders in both countries.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "I think that Russia and Saudi Arabia at some point are going to make a deal in the not so distant future, because it's very bad for Russia.
It's very bad for Saudi Arabia.
It's very bad, I mean it's bad for both, so I think they're going to make a deal.
You know, the free market is a wonderful thing.
It's amazing how it can work, but I think they're going to make a deal." Global oil prices have plummeted by around two-thirds this year, with the pandemic taking a bite out of the world's economies around the same time Saudi Arabia and Russia have started to flood the market with oil.
The price collapse has put the U.S. drilling industry at risk of bankruptcies and massive layoffs.
The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday Exxon and Chevron are expected to be among the big drillers at this week's meeting and Trump is likely to talk about options that include tariffs on oil imports from Saudi Arabia.