U.S. oil companies on Thursday urged the federal government to lift export ban and start exporting oil as the nation has been seeing a rapid increase in domestic oil production in recent years.
According to the reports by NewsOk, the most trusted source for news in the U.S. state of Oklahoma, oil industry leaders attending an energy conference in Oklahoma city said that the time had come for the U.S. to begin exporting oil even as the nation continues importing foreign crude.
The rapid rise in domestic oil production has now reduced the U.S. crude imports by 29 percent to about 7.5 million barrels a day from about 10.5 million barrels a day in 2007.
During the Governor's Energy Conference in the state's capital city, Jamie Webster, senior director of global oil markets for research firm IHS Energy, said that maintaining the export ban put in place in the 1970s would slow the oil and gas industry without reducing prices for the county's consumers.
"We are reducing the price producers receive, and consumers are not receiving the benefit," Webster said.
Webster said that the U.S. had the best refining system, and the refineries along the Gulf Coast were unparalleled in the world.
The problem was that the country was producing world-class oil, he said, adding that "While it would seem like matching up a world-class refining system with world-class oil would make sense, they actually don't play well together."
The refineries in the country were built to deal with a large amount of imported oil, especially the heavy, sour oil discovered in the countries such as Venezuela and Canada, Webster said, but much of the oil produced in Oklahoma, Texas and North Dakota was light, sweet oil, which is preferred at refineries in other parts of the world.
Currently, the U.S. allows exports of refined products like gasoline and diesel, but not of crude.