Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz has admitted that the ban of U.S crude oil exports, in place since 1975, is currently being reviewed, the Wall Street Journal reports. Oil prices jumped after the news was released, as the decision could raise the price of certain grades.
The rising production of American "light, sweet" oil has been creating issues for domestic refineries designed to process heavier imported oils. This issue had created a rising stock of domestic crude oil, which can diminish prices and possibly discourage future drilling endeavors.
"It's clear that action needs to be taken to address crude exports from a policy perspective," Heather Zichal, a former top energy and climate adviser to the Obama administration, told the Wall Street Journal. "But the administration is going to need to build some strategic alliances to tackle the political challenges that also come with this issue."
The announcement has sparked a public response that is fearful of rising prices at gas stations. The industry itself is also split on the decision. Refiners currently benefit from the ban, as it holds down the cost of their main input, crude oil. However, exports could actually help to curb prices over time by encouraging more U.S. drilling and supply, stimulating the mining and drilling industries.
Professionals in the oil industry will likely have a long time to wait for any decision. The Keystone XL Pipeline has created a major controversy in Washington, and politicians are not likely to take action on another heated issue in an election year.
If the ban is lifted, companies will have to quickly construct new marketing strategies, and recruit the right professionals to execute them. Consultants can be invaluable in this process, especially when they bring extensive industry experience to the table.