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Energy Tomorrow Blog

Yes, Lift the Crude Oil Exports Ban

energy exports  us crude oil production  economic benefits  government revenues  conocophillips  gasoline prices 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted March 20, 2015

The case for lifting the 1970s-era ban on U.S. crude oil exports, in a nutshell: 

The ban is a relic of the past, of an era when the U.S. was producing less and less of its own oil and importing more and more of oil produced by others. Crude exports would add to global crude supplies, putting downward pressure on the cost of crude. A number of studies project that lifting the export ban would lower domestic gasoline prices. Exports would stimulate domestic production, protecting U.S. jobs and creating more in the future. Exports would strengthen U.S. economic power that underlies American global influence.

There are more reasons, more details to the affirmative export case, a number of which were aired at a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing this week. In its totality, it’s a strong, strong case.

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Rhetoric vs. Action – Exports Edition

crude oil production  exports  trade  economic benefits  gasoline prices  president obama  congress 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted January 23, 2015

Earlier this month, then-White House advisor John Podesta said the Obama administration is unlikely to do more on the U.S. crude oil export ban beyond the Commerce Department’s recent effort to clarify the rules for exporting ultra-light crude known as condensates. Podesta told Reuters:

“At this stage, I think that what the Commerce Department did in December sort of resolves the debate. We felt comfortable with where they went. If you look at what's going on in the market and actions that the Department took, I think that ... there's not a lot of pressure to do more.”

It’s a strange conclusion given the weight of scholarship that says America’s 1970s ban on crude exports should be lifted – to spur domestic production, create jobs and put downward pressure on U.S. gasoline prices. It also would solve a growing mismatch between supplies of light sweet domestic crude and a refinery sector that’s largely configured to handle heavier crudes. ConocoPhillips Chairman and CEO Ryan Lance, speaking recently at the Center for Strategic and International Studies:

“(The condensates decision is) a help. … I question whether we’ll ever grow to a million barrels a day of condensate production, so it helps, but it doesn’t solve the problem. It doesn’t answer the issue that we’re going to have coming at us as a nation … crude that our refineries cannot refine. So it’s a help, but by no stretch does it solve the problem. We have to address the bigger issue.”  

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U.S. Energy Production and the World Market

us crude oil production  global markets  shale energy  hydraulic fracturing  horizontal drilling  saudi arabia  exxonmobil  epa regulation  pipelines  utica shale 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted December 4, 2014

National Journal: World oil producers have put oil prices into a free fall, refusing to pare back global supplies in the hopes that low prices will derail the fracking-backed production boom in the U.S. and preserve OPEC's power over world energy markets.

But global analysts are skeptical that the move will work.

The basic reason: Prices remain high enough to keep pumping. "Looking out there, it seems like there's a huge amount of oil that can be produced at $60, $70 per barrel," said Michael Lynch, president of consulting firm Strategic Energy and Economic Research, referring to the prices for Brent crude oil, a global reference point.

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Good News, Thanks to U.S. Energy

oil and natural gas development  us crude oil production  hydraulic fracturing  horizontal drilling  shale energy  economic benefits  job creation  global markets 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 16, 2014

Early in a panel discussion of energy policy and politics hosted by Real Clear Politics, the question was asked whether U.S. voters pay much attention to energy issues in an election year. RCP tweeted panelist/Wall Street Journal energy reporter Amy Harder’s response - that voters only notice energy when the prices are high.

Certainly, that’s generally been an accurate analysis. Less than a decade ago energy issues were challenging for U.S. policymakers staring at flat or declining domestic oil and natural gas production

But the U.S. energy picture has been dramatically altered by surging production here at home – an energy revolution made possible by advanced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling and vast resources in shale and other tight-rock formations. Result: Good news in the absence of challenging energy developments – for U.S. consumers (if not for hosts of events on the intersection of energy and politics).

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U.S. Crude Production to the Rescue

us crude oil production  supply  global markets  pump prices  shale energy  fracking  hydraulic fracturing 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted September 25, 2014

Supply matters. According to U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) chief Adam Sieminski, crude oil could cost at least $150 a barrel today because of supply disruptions in the Middle East and North Africa – if not for rising U.S. crude production.

Sieminski told the North Dakota Petroleum Council’s annual meeting that crude from the Bakken, Permian and Eagle Ford shale plays and others around the country has spiked in the past decade to more than 4 million barrels per day – enough to make up for outages in crude production elsewhere. Sieminski:

“If we did not have the growth in North Dakota, in the Eagle Ford and the Permian, oil could be $150 (per barrel). There is a long list of countries with petroleum outages that add up to about 3 million barrels per day.”

So, let’s rephrase things a bit: Clearly, U.S. production, adding to global supply, matters. A lot.

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Tapping America's Energy Opportunities

energy exports  lng exports  fracking  emissions  crude oil production  shale energy 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted May 15, 2014

CNBC (Spencer Abraham/Bill Richardson): Once again the world is looking for America's leadership in unsettled times. Our diplomats have limited options to combat Russia's annexation of Crimea, but they can take greater advantage of a new tool in their toolbox that no administration has had for generations — U.S. energy abundance. American energy exports will not only create economic opportunities here at home but will provide strategic geopolitical advantages abroad.

The crisis involving Ukraine and Russia highlights the need for American energy leadership. Russia remains the world's largest exporter of natural gas, supplying 30 percent of Europe's imports. Countries on Russia's periphery, many nearly completely dependent on Russian supply, pay exorbitant oil linked prices. Many are NATO allies.

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U.S. Energy Brightens America's Future Path

crude oil production  pipeline safety  manufacturing  renewable fuel standard  shale benefits 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted December 26, 2013

U.S. crude oil production on track to surpass imports for first time since 1995

EIA Today in Energy: Monthly crude oil production in the United States is expected to exceed the amount of U.S. crude oil imports later this year for the first time since February 1995. The gap between monthly U.S. crude oil production and imports is projected to be almost 2 million barrels per day (bbl/d) by the end of next year—according to EIA's March 2013 Short-Term Energy Outlook.

According to EIA's projections:

  • Monthly crude oil production could surpass net crude oil imports later this year.
  • Monthly crude oil production is forecast to top 8 million bbl/d in the fourth quarter of 2014, which would be the highest level since 1988.
  • Net crude oil imports are expected to fall below 7 million bbl/d in the fourth quarter of 2014 for the first time since 1995.

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Let's Have A Parade

energy information administration  crude oil  crude oil production  oil imports  energy access  domestic energy reserves 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted March 21, 2013

New from the U.S. Energy Information Administration:

Monthly crude oil production in the United States is expected to exceed the amount of U.S. crude oil imports later this year for the first time since February 1995. The gap between monthly U.S. crude oil production and imports is projected to be almost 2 million barrels per day (bbl/d) by the end of next year—according to EIA's March 2013 Short-Term Energy Outlook.

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Gasoline Demand Slips

crude oil  demand  domestic energy  domestic petroleum deliveries  gasoline  gasoline demand  oil  oil demand  prices  crude oil production  gasoline deliveries 

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted July 23, 2010

Gasoline demand fell for the first six months of 2010, API reported today. According to the Monthly Statistical Report, U.S. gasoline deliveries (a key indicator of demand) averaged 8.88 million barrels per day, 0.6 percent lower than in the same period in 2009. 

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