The U.S. oil boom is moving Congress closer to easing the ban
on exporting crude for the first time in more than 30 years, imposed after the
Benjamin Salisbury, a senior energy policy analyst at FBR
Capital Markets Corp. in Arlington, Virginia has said that record production,
largely due to advances such as hydraulic fracturing, may outstrip refinery
capacity within 18 months to three years.
Net petroleum imports now account for about 40 percent of
demand, down from 60 percent in 2005, according to the U.S. Energy Information
Administration, the Energy Department research unit.
Since the Arab oil embargo in 1973, where shortages raised
prices and resulted in long queues at petrol stations, the number of oil exports
has been limited by Congress. The US domestic production increase of a
record-breaking 766,000 barrels a day has challenged the notion that American’s
need foreign oil.