Oil export ban lifting draws praise

The Domestic Energy Producers Alliance (DEPA) applauds Congress and President Obama for lifting the 40-year-old ban on U.S. crude oil exports and setting the stage for a market recovery.

“For too long, America has been held hostage to the predatory pricing tactics of OPEC,” said DEPA Chairman Harold Hamm. “American policymakers have taken a stand against OPEC’s strategy to run down the price of oil and run U.S. independent oil and natural gas producers out of business. Through this historic legislative action, America will reassert our nation’s energy leadership.”

DEPA has lobbied for the exports issue for the past three years, urging policymakers to allow the United States to export its light, sweet oil and unleash American competitiveness on global energy markets. As a nationwide alliance of 22 coalition associations, DEPA represents U.S. independent producers, royalty owners and oilfield service companies.

Exports have become an increasingly urgent issue, with the combination of America’s ban on exports and OPEC price manipulation contributing to the loss of 63 percent of U.S. oil and natural gas rigs, 250,000 direct oil and natural gas jobs, and one million indirect jobs over the past year alone.

“Oil exports set the stage for a market recovery,” Hamm said. “By mid-2016, we see the beginning of an oversupply correction. Production is already falling off, demand is at a record high, and crude oil exports now allow the U.S. oil industry to compete globally.”

The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects that from its peak in April 2015 to September 2016, U.S. crude oil production will drop by 1.1 million barrels per day. At the same time, world petroleum demand is at an all-time high at just under 95 million barrels per day. Once supply and demand cross, Saudi Arabia-led OPEC will begin cutting production and fair market fundamentals will prevail.

“In addition to releasing America and our allies from the grip of OPEC’s cartel, U.S. crude oil exports strengthen America’s economy, national security and geopolitical leadership,” said DEPA Executive Director Pete Regan. “Exports will reduce U.S. gasoline prices by up to 13 cents per gallon, create 400,000 American jobs per year, increase U.S. GDP by one percent, and ensure America and our allies are no longer held hostage by OPEC, Russia, Iran and other dictatorial regimes. Indeed, U.S. crude oil exports provide the opportunity for America to once again be the growth engine of the world for the next 50 years as we were post-World War II.”