Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

Business

November 16, 2013

More U.S. oil production

NORMAN — A challenge from Presidents Reagan to Obama has been to reduce the U.S. dependence on foreign oil. Over-reliance on imports makes us more susceptible to those regular foreign crises that tend to send prices spiraling upward.

A new report out this week suggests the U.S. may have turned the corner on oil imports. For the first time since 1995, the U.S. produced more crude oil than it imported in October.

That’s a good sign for Oklahoma’s oil business and good for what is shaping up to be a sluggish fourth-quarter economy. The Associated Press reports that domestic oil production has been increasing for a number of years.

It may be a sign of changing demand, too. American automakers are being forced to add more fuel-efficient vehicles to their fleets. Americans, too, are more conscious of fuel efficiency.

Most of the expanded oil production has been on private and state lands that the federal government doesn’t control. Oil industry officials said the rise in production has come about despite the president’s policies.

According to the Associated Press report, President Obama has made it harder, not easier, to produce oil on government land.

The U.S. still exports far less oil than it imports to other countries.

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