Four-Decade-Ban On Exporting Oil Lifted

Four-Decade-Ban On Exporting Oil Lifted

ODESSA, TX (KWES) - Oil companies across the US and the basin are preparing for a big change.

The ban on crude oil exports has been lifted after four decades.

Many oil companies and workers are claiming victory after the four-decade ban on exporting oil was lifted Friday, but they may have started celebrating too soon.

Morris Burns is an oil expert in West Texas, he says, "I have been opposed to it because we're going to have to import the same amount that we're exporting."

The US is now allowed to export oil for the first time since 1973, this is a ban that the oil industry has been fighting to lift for nearly two years. Supporters of lifting the ban say this will help increase US oil security but experts say it may not be that easy.

"A lot of people think this is going to be an immediate panacea for this slump we're in but it will not because we're gonna have to import the same amount of oil we export," says Burns.

Burns says the US is still using between 25-30% of imported oil, he also says West Texas may see a small difference in oil production but that will take some time. That's because the we don't ship to areas outside of the Permian Basin. What is securing our production more than the ban being lifted is of course, technology.

Burns adds, "We're the only country in the world right now that has the ability to produce gas our of shale. We've known for years that there is oil and gas in shale but we couldn't extract it. Now with horizontal drilling, hydraulic fracturing, and improvements in hydraulic fracturing, we're able to produce oil out of shale and that's where a whole lot of this big upturn has been."

President Obama says this ban being lifted was a compromise. He thinks the system in place will work, and says this was a good win.

However, this local oil expert disagrees.

"If we were producing more than we were consuming, you bet. And where do we import it from? We're importing it from nations that hate us and are contributing to Arab charities that are trying to kill us," says Burns.

Burns tells NewsWest 9 just because the ban has been lifted does not mean the US will immediately start to export.

Copyright 2015 KWES. All rights reserved.