The recent rise in domestic crude oil production from 5.4 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2009 to 8.7 million b/d in 2014 and the prospect of continued supply growth have sparked interest in the question of how a change in current policies, which restrict but do not ban exports of crude oil produced in the United States, might affect markets for both crude oil and petroleum products over the next decade.
A new study by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on the potential implications of removing restrictions on crude oil exports finds that effects on domestic crude oil production are key to determining the other effects of the policy change. Gasoline prices would be either unchanged or slightly reduced. The report also examines the implications of removing current restrictions on the price of domestic and global marker crude oil streams, domestic refining activity, and trade in crude oil and petroleum products.
The analysis, which builds on and extends previous studies and activities related to the implications of growing domestic crude production that EIA has undertaken since May 2014, uses cases based on EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2015 (AEO2015) that incorporate a range of assumptions regarding domestic resource availability and world oil prices. Each of the four cases is run in a baseline version, reflecting current policies that restrict, but do not entirely ban, crude oil exports, and in an alternative version without any crude oil export restrictions.