Posted November 11, 2013
Bloomberg Businessweek: Lost in some of the forecasting over what an agreement may eventually entail is the simple fact that none of this would be possible without the U.S. oil boom. Over the last two years, the U.S. has increased its crude production by about 2 million barrels a day. That’s like swallowing Norway, the fourteenth largest oil producer in the world. This new U.S. crude supply has allowed the West to put the squeeze on Iran without disrupting the global market or jacking up the price.
According to a recent report from the Congressional Research Service (pdf), Iran’s oil exports have been cut in half since 2011, from 2.5 million barrels per day to a bit more than 1 million today. As a result, Iran has had to halt an equal amount of production.
The fact that this has all happened without the slightest disruption felt in the oil market is extraordinary.
“I think it’s pretty clear that without the U.S. shale revolution, it never would have been possible to put this kind of embargo on Iran,” says Julius Walker, a global energy market strategist with UBS Securities (UBS). “Without U.S. production gains, I think we’d be looking at $150 a barrel,” says Walker. Instead, international prices have hovered around $110, and are less than $100 in the U.S.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mary Schaper is a Digital Communications Manager for the American Petroleum Institute. She previously worked on Capitol Hill for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee as Digital Director and for Senator Lisa Murkowski. Before coming to D.C., she spearheaded digital strategy for Murkowski's successful Senate write-in campaign in 2010. Schaper enjoys traveling and taking in the local culture alongside her husband, their son and loyal springer spaniel.