At a meeting of Business Economists this week in Memphis, a spokeswoman of the American Petroleum Institute said the United States and Canada control their own destiny on oil imports because of growing production, declining consumption and breakthroughs in drilling technology.
“We have a lot of oil, and we have the technology to go for it,” the institute’s senior economic adviser, Rayola Dougher, told the Mid-South Association of Business Economists at Holiday Inn-University of Memphis.
This historic ramp up of our country’s production of crude oil and natural gas is being driven by horizontal drilling of plentiful shale deposits.
Roughly eighteen months ago the United States became a net exporter of refined petroleum products for the first time in more than 60 years.
What’s more, recent trends put the U.S. and Canada on track to reduce imports of liquid fuels to zero over the next 12 years, according to Dougher.
She went on to point out the industry agenda measures that are being opposed by critics, including having the federal government open up areas are currently off-limits to exploration and development, such as portion of the Rocky Mountains, Alaska and offshore.
Industry needs to do a better job making sure the public understands the safety and economic benefits of domestic oil and gas production, Dougher told the gathering.
She needs to read Niobrara Report magazine.
Dougher also said API wants timely completion of the Keystone XL pipeline expansion from Canada to Gulf Coast refineries; a larger role for states and less involvement by federal agencies in regulation of shale oil and gas drilling; and a tax structure that encourages investment by the industry.
What about gas prices? She noted that increased domestic production would put downward pressure on fuel prices, but because prices are set by the global market, “we don’t know how much.”