Lifting Export Ban Would Create ND Jobs

By The Bakken magazine staff | June 21, 2014

Bakken-related hiring firms and job placement companies that are busy now would see busy taken to a whole new level, if the ban on U.S.-based crude oil exports is lifted. That situation could create 10,000 new jobs in North Dakota in less than seven years, according to a report recently completed by the energy consulting firms of ICF International and EnSys Energy.

While the U.S. currently exports refined crude products such as gasoline and diesel, the ability to also export crude would prompt continued and higher production for the U.S., according to the report. For organizations such as the American Petroleum Institute, the importance of lifting the export ban is linked to the reward of free trade: new jobs, higher investment in oil production and greater energy security. For Bakken oil producers, lifting the ban would assure a refining endpoint for the light sweet crude and its refining capacity in the U.S. could max out in the next few years.

The report assessed how lifting the ban would impact the following categories: changes in hydrocarbon production; changes in refinery throughput and costs; changes in import-export port services; changes in transportation sector including changes in production flows by rail and pipeline; and the changes in petroleum product consumer costs due to changes in fuel costs

“Restrictions on exports only limit our potential as a global energy superpower,” said Kyle Isakower, vice president for regulatory and economic policy at API. “Additional exports could prompt higher production, generate savings for consumers and bring more jobs to North Dakota. The economic benefits are well- established, and policymakers are right to reexamine 1970s-era trade restrictions that no longer make sense.”

Depending on global oil prices, the report said that if the export ban were lifted nine states—Florida, Michigan, Indiana, California, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas and North Dakota—could each see more than $1 billion in state economic gains in 2020 alone.