For the past forty years, there has been a ban on U.S. oil exports, but many people feel that now is the time to reverse that ban so the United States can start pumping out the oil. One of the arguments for this is that it could effectively lower the price of gasoline at the pump if that happens, and this comes from a report released by the federal government in late October.
The study, which came from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, shows that there is a potential to lower gas prices with this reversal. Many companies that produce oil have been trying to get the country to reverse this ban for some time now, mostly because they want to be able to export and sell their product to foreign markets where the prices are currently much higher.
As the volume of oil produced in the United States is on the rise, all thanks to shale fracking in places such as Texas and North Dakota, it could mean large profits for these companies if they are able to export that oil. Currently, the United States is making more than 8.5 million barrels of oil a day, while the amount of oil imported to the country is down to about 30%.
Others oppose lifting the ban. These are mainly the refiners who are currently getting the domestic crude oil quite cheaply. They say that the crude should remain in the country specifically for domestic usage. Experts on the other side of the fence say that the gas prices in the U.S. stem from global markets, and that adding the nation’s crude to the global market would cause the prices of gas at home to go down further. They feel that the production rate could go up by another 3.3 million barrels each day over the course of the next two decades.
Of course, still others worry that removing the barriers to exporting could cause a dramatic increase in production, which could pose risks to the environment, such as increased emissions of greenhouse gasses, spills, and contamination to groundwater. However, with the proper equipment and safety protocols in place, this should be a minimal risk.
The jury is still out on whether they will ever remove the ban on exporting oil from the United States, but more and more feel that the time will come, and that it might happen sooner rather than later.
Oil Works, Inc. is a complete drilling rig equipment manufacturer and service provider based in the Permian Basin for over 20 years. OWI’s product and service offerings include Derricks, Substructures, Drawworks, Mud Systems, Walking Systems, Power Generation, Control Systems, Iron Roughnecks and complete Rig Solutions built to API and ISO standards. OWI is also proud to offer 24/7 Service and Support.