WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - The country is now almost nine months into a new policy of exporting crude oil overseas. But is it as fruitful as officials expected? Lawmakers voted last December to repeal a multiple-decade export ban, and now that it’s back on the market, some are saying there’s still a lot of work to be done.
"We have to make sure that the right government-to-government contacts are happening and that the right relationships are developed," said Congressman Will Hurd (R-TX).
Almost nine months since repealing the export ban, U.S. crude oil is flowing overseas. Hurd’s district in Texas is a massive oil producer. He says after decades of a ban, there are some cobwebs to dust off.
"We didn’t have these relationships," said Hurd. "So getting them started first is the first step, and then making sure we’re moving the product from point A to point B."
Hurd’s House race opponent, Pete Gallego (D-TX), says it’s been great for West Texas, in particular.
"The debate is still raging about 'do this or do that,' but I think in the long term, it’s a good thing," said Gallego. "It seems to me we would be able to make a dent in a lot of the world affairs."
Being back on the world stage is creating a crowded marketplace. Hannah Breul from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) says too many cooks in the kitchen can cause problems.
"The global crude oil market remains very oversupplied, and that’s a challenge for everyone that’s participating in that, in terms of placing their barrels and maintaining market share," said Breul.
She expects the international market to even out next year, as gas prices go up.
"By the second half of 2017, you’ll see consumption start to exceed supply meaning they’ll start drawing down from inventories," said Breul.
The EIA remains firm in its stance that exporting overseas won’t harm the U.S. Economy.