IHS: Ending Crude Oil Export Ban Would Boost Domestic Production

Greater investment could lift production past 11 million barrels/day by 2022.

A study from economic research firm IHS suggests that lifting the federal ban on crude oil exports would stimulate U.S. oil production and lower gasoline prices.

The ban on crude oil exports dates back to the 1970s, at a time when the country had adopted price controls to cope with the effects of the Arab oil embargo and Iran’s Islamic Revolution. Those controls were abolished in 1981, along with a ban on exports of refined oil products, like gasoline.

“This ban on crude oil exports exists as this kind of archaic remnant of a system that disappeared thirty-three years ago,” says Daniel Yergin, vice chairman of IHS.

Yergin says that lifting the export ban would allow U.S. crude to obtain higher prices on the world market. That would help boost domestic investment, adding more than 3 million barrels per day to U.S. production by 2022.

IHS says the increase in crude oil on world markets would ultimately push down the price of gasoline by 8 cents a gallon. The study forecasts this would save consumers $265 billion between 2016 and 2030.


Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media’s business reporter, covering the oil...

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