The “bust” in oil exploration and production has left families, companies, both large and small, with bankruptcy and hundreds of thousands out of work. Since Thanksgiving of 2014, Saudi Arabia has increased its production to lower prices to shut-in unconventional oil in all areas of the US but specifically in Texas, Oklahoma and Appalachia where “stripper or marginal wells” are more prevalent. It is a price war which has suspended the prospect of American energy self-sufficiency.
The Panhandle Import Reduction Initiative for oil import quotas on foreign oil is nothing new. It aims to revive the 1959 quota system of President Eisenhower who acted to sustain a healthy oil industry and middle class communities which it employs for reasons of national security. And it worked for 14 years to keep domestic oil from going out business because of foreign imports.
Import quotas on light tight oil will be 100% — no more imports within the first 60 days of the new American President’s term next year. Light tight oil or oil from shale is an American technology triumph and the pathway to abundance and security against foreign oil supply cut-off threats. Southwest and Dakota oil will be unbound. North American oil will avoid the risk of dependence on the world ocean as the transportation for imports. Oil from shale has so far supported national income savings in the balance of payments of over 500 billion dollars in the last five years.
President Eisenhower’s import quotas limited heavy sour oil to 10-12% of yearly American oil demand — enough to take care ofCanada’s current exports to the United States.
The lower the oil price goes and the longer it stays there because of the Saudis flooding the market, the higher it will go and the longer it will stay there when demand gets greater than supply. This will happen because the US operators and other international companies are not investing in exploration, the oil that we will need in 5 to 10 years is not being discovered and developed today. OPEC cannot supply all the world’s needs. When demand outpaces supply, the price will skyrocket and stay there until the oil operations that are now curtailed can ramp back up. That may take years due to all the layoffs taking place today. All consumers will be hurt by the high prices. That would not happen if we had reasonable prices today to let us keep exploring for and developing new oil reserves for our future needs.