The Commerce Department granted two oil shipping companies permission to export condensate, a type of ultralight oil, from Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale to foreign buyers.
For the first time, the United States is surpassing the production rates of Saudi Arabia and Russia, producing in excess of 11 million barrels a day in the first quarter of 2014.
The 2008 discovery of the Eagle Ford Shale in Texas catalyzed a domestic oil production renaissance, doubling oil production in the state within two years. By 2015, Texas is expected to become the fifth-biggest oil producer in the world.
Texas oil and natural gas pioneer George Mitchell combined horizontal drilling with hydraulic fracturing to successfully fracture shale rock formations in fields where production had previously only occurred at shallower depths.
In April 1996, President Clinton issued a finding to allow exports of crude from the Alaskan North Slope, which travels through the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System.
In October 1992, President Bush pushed for the export of 25,000 barrels per day of heavy-crude from California, which was approved by the Commerce Department in 1995.
In June 1985, President Reagan approved limited exports to Canada, determining this was in the national interest. In November 1985, the Commerce Department expanded this exception to allow exports from production in Alaska’s Cook Inlet.
Within a month of the 1973 Oil Embargo, the U.S. federal government began to enact controls to limit crude oil exports. Over the next five years, the government deepened crude export controls by requiring the president to prohibit crude exports unless he deemed they were in the national interest.
In light of the Arab-Israeli War (October 6-25, 1973), OPEC countries imposed an embargo on nations supporting Israel, including the United States. OPEC banned petroleum exports to embargoed nations and cut oil production. These actions deeply impacted public opinion in the United States.
After remaining the world’s largest oil producer from 1870 to 1970, 20th Century domestic oil production peaked in 1971, making Marion King Hubbert’s 1956 prediction that U.S. oil production would permanently decline after peaking in about 1970 seem accurate. His theory, however, did not include consideration of the impact of technological advances, such as hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.