Why should we lift the crude oil export ban?
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Lifting the ban on the export of US crude oil will provide more markets for US producers and provide better balance to the overall supply-demand picture. This means certainty for domestic producers, which is a key element in their decision whether or not to continue to ramp up drilling.
Thanks to advances in horizontal drilling and safe and proven hydraulic fracturing, domestic crude oil and natural gas producers and the royalty owners with whom they work have created a new age of American energy abundance in just a few years. We now measure our natural gas reserves in centuries and have increased our light crude oil production from tight formations 60 percent since 2008 to more than 8 million barrels per day.
The economists at IHS, one of the nation’s most respected energy economics firms, say that lifting the ban on U.S. crude exports could spur enough additional drilling here to increase daily oil production by another 3 million barrels/day… to more than 11 million barrels.
That kind of continuing increased oil and gas exploration and production would be great news for the nation’s royalty and mineral owners!
However, while America leads the world in the export of refined petroleum products, our success in producing more crude oil will soon create a bottleneck of our own light-tight oil (LTO) at U.S. refineries set up to process heavier foreign crudes. These domestic supply and demand dislocations, coupled with the outdated 1970s-era laws ban on crude exports, could stifle drilling and stop America’s momentum toward energy independence.
If these antiquated laws slow down exploration and production that means fewer royalty checks to private mineral owners like you. We shouldn’t let that happen. Together, we need to get American oil to market.
The IHS report shows lifting the crude oil export ban would boost production by 1-3 million barrels per day and lower gasoline pump prices by between 8-12 cents per gallon, saving U.S. motorists $265 billion over the coming decades. The increase in production would support almost a million more jobs by 2018!
It’s important to be thinking about this issue as we begin to see more and more discussion about the possibility of repealing the current ban on the export of U.S. crude oil. As this debate unfolds, it’s very important that royalty and mineral owners understand the significant positive financial impacts that lifting the ban could have on leasing and on royalty income.
Recent Studies Regarding the Crude Oil Export Ban
“By boosting global supplies, the elimination of the ban will also result in lower global oil prices. Since U.S. gasoline is priced off global gasoline prices, the reduction will flow back into lower prices at the pump reducing the gasoline price 8 cents a gallon-the savings for motorists is $265 billion over the 2016-2030 period.”
- The U.S. economy would support an average of 394,000 more jobs.
- Gross domestic product would rise by nearly $73 billion in 2016.
- Total government revenues would increase by a combined $1.3 trillion from 2016 to 2030.
The Heritage Foundation:
“The unconventional energy revolution is estimated to have added nearly 1% to our GDP in each of the past two years.”
The U.S. is now producing 8 million barrels per day, pushing about 10 percent of the world’s production
James A. Baker III Institute of Public Policy at Rice University:
“Lifting the crude oil export ban will have a downward effect on the amount of net imports as they are projected to continue to trend downward between 4.5 million and 4.8 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2035.”
“The U.S. has the opportunity to lead an oil industry transformation that would see lines of global oil trade would be redrawn as North American production, and Western Hemisphere production more generally, could capture a larger portion of the growing international market. This would, should it transpire, have tremendous benefits for U.S. foreign policy endeavors in its dealings with hostile oil producing nations. It would also lend greater stability to the global crude oil market thereby conveying benefits more broadly to the U.S. and its allies.”
Columbia Center on Global Energy Policy:
- U.S. crude oil production could increase anywhere between 0 and 1.2 million bpd on average between now and 2025.
- Domestic gasoline prices would likely fall by 0 to 12 cents per gallon.
“Allowing exports would make the U.S. more resilient, not less, to supply disruptions elsewhere in the world. Greater integration into global markets would make U.S. oil supply more responsive to international market developments, mitigating the impact on American consumers and the U.S. economy of production losses in other countries.”
- Increased capital spending for these projects would result the total increment to capital spending is $43.7 billion by 2025.
- Net U.S. dependence on imported oil shrunk from 60% of demand in 2005 to less than 30% in early 2014.
- U.S. allies benefit from U.S. sourced crude export as many are currently dependent on oil and gas supplies from unstable foreign regimes.
Bipartisan Policy Center:
“The state of U.S. domestic energy sectors, energy productivity, and energy security is the best it has been in many decades.”
“Permitting the export of crude oil will enhance U.S. global power in several ways, including: reinforcing the credibility of U.S. free and open market advocacy; allowing for the establishment of secure supply relationships between American producers and foreign consumers; increasing flexibility to export crude to others to address supply disruptions; empowering another non-OPEC nation to meet the growing energy demands from countries in Asia, as well as other rapidly developing nations; shifting oil rents to the U.S. from less reliable suppliers; and providing our own hemisphere with a competitive source of crude supply.”
Government Accountability Office:
“Removing export restrictions would increase domestic production—8 million barrels per day in April 2014—because of increasing domestic crude oil prices. Estimates range from an additional 130,000 to 3.3 million barrels per day on average from 2015 through 2035.”
Council on Foreign Relations:
“Liberalizing the crude oil export regime would advance U.S. foreign policy. It would demonstrate Washington's commitment to free and fair trade, even in a politically sensitive sector, bolstering its negotiating position on other trade issues.”
Center for Strategic & International Studies:
“U.S. gasoline prices would fall by up to 12 cents per gallon because U.S. exports would drive the price of Brent crude, a global benchmark, down (the global price of gasoline tracks to Brent, and gasoline—because it is refined—is an exportable commodity under U.S. law).”
Congressional Budget Office:
“Specifically, CBO estimates that federal tax revenues will be about three-quarters of 1 percent (or about $35 billion) higher in 2020 and about 1 percent higher in 2040 than they would have been without shale development.”
Removing the Ban Will NOT Increase the Cost of Gasoline at the Pump
The American Petroleum Institute recently summarized results from several major economic studies predicting the downward impact lifting the ban on crude oil exports would have on the price per gallon of gasoline. These results are listed below.
- Resources for the Future - 1.7 to 4.5 cents
- IHS - 8 cents average
- ICF International - Up to 3.8 cents (2.3 cents average)
- Brookings and NERA - Up to 12 cents (9 cents average)
- Aspen Institute and MAPI Foundation - Up to 9 cents
- U.S. Government Accountability Office - 1.5 to 13 cents
- Congressional Budget Office - 5 to 10 cents
- Columbia University - Up to 12 cents
The Energy Supply and Distribution Act of 2015
In May 2015, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced S. 1312, the Energy Supply and Distribution Act of 2015 to authorize the export of all crude oil and condensates.
The senator has stated the new bill is meant to "modernize Federal policies regarding the supply and distribution of energy in the U.S."