U.S. crude oil exports could drive an extra $70 billion in upstream investments this decade, according to a new study by ICF International. That level of spending in the upstream sector would boost U.S. oil production by as much as 500,000 barrels per day, the report said. Putting that much U.S. oil on the global market could save American consumers $6.6 billion per year by 2020. “It’s undeniable that the American energy revolution has rendered our current export policies obsolete,” said Kyle Isakower, vice president for regulatory and economic policy for the American Petroleum Institute, which commissioned the study.
The topic of crude oil exports has spurred debate in the oil and gas industry in recent weeks. Lawmakers and industry groups have pressed the U.S government to allow crude oil exports to non-free-trade-agreement countries, but some refiners such as Valero fear the impact of oil price increases on feedstock accessibility.