Research Library

Center for Energy Studies



To Lift or Not to Lift? The U.S. Crude Oil Export Ban: Implications for Price and Energy Security

To Lift or Not to Lift? The U.S. Crude Oil Export Ban: Implications for Price and Energy Security

This study examines the effects of lifting the 40-year-old U.S. crude export ban on crude pricing, energy security and energy sector investment. It includes a statistical analysis that explains what the relationship would be between the prices of crudes of different qualities in an unconstrained setting, which, according to author Ken Medlock, is important to providing a more accurate assessment of the impact of current U.S. policy. It also analyzes the U.S. energy security benefits of ending the restrictions on oil exports by highlighting the relative costs and benefits of the status quo. In doing so, the study argues that the implications for overall market function, infrastructure investment and energy sector activity are all positive. More generally, the study reveals that removing the ban generates distinct energy security benefits, a result that may be counterintuitive to some.

Download the executive summary and the full report below.