Energy outlook urges US crude oil exports

Crude oil production in the United States has risen to the 8 million barrels per day level from about 5 million bpd in mid-2000s due to the shale revolution. Recently, cancellation of the crude oil export ban is discussed aggressively. A long-term outlook for the energy released by the U.S. government is also seems to be revised in order to encourage such trend.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently announced an early release version of "Annual Energy Outlook 2014". The annual report is usually announced in the second quarter every year and its early release is published in the end of prior year.

The most remarkable change from the previous year's edition is significant upward revision of petroleum production. Although natural gas output is upward revised year by year, the change of petroleum production from the 2013 edition in this time is much noteworthy.

Meanwhile, forecasts for the demand of petroleum had been already drastically changed in the 2013 edition from the previous steady upward tendency to the gradual down trend. The down trend is amended further down in the latest edition. On the other hand, natural gas demand is consecutively upward revised every year.

The long term outlook might have be set based on the government's policy. The change of AEO 2013 edition suggests that the U.S. government has changed the country's main energy resource from petroleum to natural gas in 2012. The change in the 2014 edition seems to promote the cancellation of crude oil export ban as well.

Petroleum demand in the U.S. is seen to shrink long-term, while domestic crude oil production is predicted to raised. However, imports are likely to continue since the domestic supply is not able to cover the entire demand. Meanwhile, the declining demand could hamper construction of new petroleum stockpile facilities. If steady domestic production and imports increase regional stockpile to the critical level in the future, exports could be a promising option to control the stockpile level.

Meanwhile, natural gas supply in the U.S. was expected to exceed the domestic demand after 2022 in the AEO 2012 edition, but the situation has been revised to happen in 2017 in the 2014 edition. The U.S. government is currently aggressively authorizing natural gas liquefy and export projects that are scheduled to start in late 2010s.

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