The decision of the Department of Commerce of the United States to grant licenses to two oil companies to export from August a form of light oil called “condensate” has reopened the debate – and expectations – that Washington begins to lift the ban governing export crude from the energy crisis of the seventies, when Arab countries declared an oil embargo.
Facing strong U.S. energy dependence in the 70s, new extraction techniques such as fracking have caused a real oil boom in the country, to the point that the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts that by 2020 the United States will be the largest oil producer in the world and, a decade later, achieve energy independence.
A more attractive not only for the U.S. economy but with strong geopolitical implications, especially in view of the renewed threat of an energy crisis involving conflicts such as Ukraine or, again, Iraq perspective.
The newspaper The Wall Street Journal, who announced the decision of the Government believes that the licenses “pave the way for the first U.S. export of unrefined oil after almost decades.” This allows, according to the newspaper, that energy companies can begin to “weaken the long ban” sell oil abroad and adventure “similar requests” from other companies in the near future.
It is unclear, however, the scope of the decision. The White House spokesman Josh Earnest said that ” no change ” in the politics of oil exports and has been a ” misunderstanding” about the decision to grant licenses to Texas Pioneer Natural Resources and Enterprise Products Partners.
According to The New York Times, is in fact only a change in the classification of the condensate to the product category “processed”, so that does not apply to the current ban, as happens, for example, with gasoline. “Those who want to see a crack in the dam does not become more than wishful thinking,” said the newspaper quoted energy analyst David Goldwyn, former head of the energy program of the State Department under the command of Hillary Clinton. ” This is not a sign that the government has changed its policy regarding oil export ” David insists.
All this in the midst of an intense debate on whether to change the current policy for over 40 years in a country that has little or nothing to do with energy matters with which it established the oil ban.