While the domestic economic impacts associated with exporting US crude oil continue to be debated, other parts of the world analyze various ways in which increased US oil and gas exports could impact global, regional and local economies. Experts discussed this issue this morning in New York at the 37th annual International Association for Energy Economics International Conference.
EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski kicked things off with a US oil and gas production outlook that was followed by regional perspectives from David Hobbs, King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) Head of Research, and Eirik Waerness, Statoil’s Chief Economist.
For his part, Hobbs suggested producers and consumers in other regions are still evaluating how the US energy production boom is likely to affect their local businesses and economies. Generally, increased volumes of oil and gas available on international markets are a positive development from a security of supply perspective.
The economic benefits to the US – particularly with regard to employment and balance of trade – are pretty clear, said Hobbs, who ended his remarks with an open-ended proposition, asking whether the world was better off with the US in a position of greater economic strength.
Interestingly, Waerness clearly came out in favor of US oil and gas exports, arguing that increased global petroleum supply would be a positive development, especially in a world where European energy import demand is expected to continue increasing. All supplies are welcome in that scenario, he said, including those from historically-reliable Russia and “hopefully” from the US as well. Waerness also suggested that increased natural gas exports from the US in the form of LNG could help address climate change, inasmuch as greater European gas imports could displace coal in the power generation mix.