Oil-and-gas boom pushes U.S. trade deficit to a four-year low; EIA revises production forecasts upward

posted at 5:31 pm on January 8, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

And we don’t want more of this, because… why? From the Financial Times:

America’s domestic energy revolution helped drive a decline in the US trade deficit to its lowest level in four years, bolstering calls in Washington for the Obama administration to relax decades-old restrictions on the export of crude oil.

The improvement in America’s monthly trade gap – to $34.3bn in November from $39.3bn in October – prompted some economists to increase fourth-quarter US growth estimates, reinforcing confidence in the country’s economic recovery.

The government’s Energy Information Administration predicted on Tuesday that the US oil boom would continue, driven by rising production of shale oil unlocked by advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing or “fracking”.

The EIA forecast that in 2015 US oil output could approach its record high of 9.6m barrels per day, reached in 1970.

It was President Obama who set the goal of doubling U.S. exports by 2015 as a means of contributing to economic growth, but the progress the U.S. has made so far is largely thanks to the hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling methods about which his administration has been lukewarm at best (they would much rather talk about the comparatively piddling economic gains made be their preferred clean energy forms, you see, and let the oil-and-gas revolution spurring their otherwise lackluster economy along just fly beneath the radar).

Our increasingly abundant supply is straining both our available shipping networks and our refining capacity, and if we don’t do something about it (i.e., finally get rid of the crude-oil export ban that’s been lingering like an economic cancer since it was first adopted in the 1970s), we’re looking at a glut that will disallow Americans and energy companies from fully capitalizing on our new technological reality — at the expense of economic growth and job creation.


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I take all the credit-Obama

rob verdi on January 8, 2014 at 5:38 PM

Man, when I think of what’s possible if not for Obama and the Democrats…

The right policies could create a tidal wave of jobs, industrial growth, resurgent economic power, etc.

Why Obama now at this point in history?

Charlemagne on January 8, 2014 at 5:42 PM

LOL, the one sector he hates, is the only thing saving his bacon with the economy. Performing better than even his artificial Wall Street Bull market giveaway money-printing.

Kill Keystone again you economic genius.

hawkdriver on January 8, 2014 at 5:46 PM

Jeebus, if only they would get the hell out of the way.

Bishop on January 8, 2014 at 5:47 PM

Heads Up:

Unemployment Insurance Ext still Ongoing on the Floor,..LIVE:

http://www.c-span.org/Live-Video/C-SPAN2/

canopfor on January 8, 2014 at 5:48 PM

This is such a great country that even a complete F-up like Obama could be President and it would still run pretty well.

Socratease on January 8, 2014 at 5:49 PM

And we don’t want more of this, because… why?

The left loses huge on environmental talking points, “green” donors, and reasons why we should mar the landscape with bird killing windmills.

Happy Nomad on January 8, 2014 at 5:52 PM

We could all be North Dakota.
Instead, we’re headed for Detroit.
But, the idiot will still take credit.

AllahsNippleHair on January 8, 2014 at 5:53 PM

Despite his best efforts and speeches to the contrary, crude oil production continues to increase and is largely responsible for the economic gains.

And Solyndra is still bankrupt.

BobMbx on January 8, 2014 at 5:53 PM

We could all be North Dakota.

AllahsNippleHair on January 8, 2014 at 5:53 PM

Just as long as we all don’t become Wisconsin, the source of all evil in the world.

Bishop on January 8, 2014 at 5:56 PM

And all of this is happening despite the EPA waging war on fossil fuels.

Imagine what it would be like without the EPA right now.

Johnnyreb on January 8, 2014 at 5:58 PM

Just as long as we all don’t become Wisconsin, the source of all evil in the world.

Bishop on January 8, 2014 at 5:56 PM

Yah der, eh?

BobMbx on January 8, 2014 at 5:58 PM

**************** VETO THREATEN ALERT ************************!!

Mark Knoller ‏@markknoller 58m

WH issues veto threat against House bill to reduce certain environmental regulatory practices and deadlines.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/legislative/sap/113/saphr2279r_20140108.pdf
=========================

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/legislative/sap/113/saphr2279r_20140108.pdf

canopfor on January 8, 2014 at 5:59 PM

Imagine what things would be like if it weren’t for the burdensome federal government and this idiot in chief.

tommer74 on January 8, 2014 at 5:59 PM

Our increasingly abundant supply is straining both our available shipping networks and our refining capacity, and if we don’t do something about it (i.e., finally get rid of the crude-oil export ban that’s been lingering like an economic cancer since it was first adopted in the 1970s), we’re looking at a glut that will disallow Americans and energy companies from fully capitalizing on our new technological reality — at the expense of economic growth and job creation.

Then why the hell am I still paying $3.50 per gallon of regular gasoline?

timberline on January 8, 2014 at 6:01 PM

and libs sing his praises

DanMan on January 8, 2014 at 6:03 PM

Have no fear, once Christie the GOPe candidate is coronated, he’ll really unleash our energy sector by getting rid of all of those onerous and ridiculous ‘climate change/global warming’-reasoned regula…

Wait, what?

Oh.

Never mind.

Midas on January 8, 2014 at 6:04 PM

We could all be North Dakota.

AllahsNippleHair on January 8, 2014 at 5:53 PM

Just as long as we all don’t become Wisconsin, the source of all evil in the world.

Bishop on January 8, 2014 at 5:56 PM

Cheese causes constipation. And, NJ has Blimp McButterpants.
You, sir, owe me a lap top.

AllahsNippleHair on January 8, 2014 at 6:05 PM

Then why the hell am I still paying $3.50 per gallon of regular gasoline?

timberline on January 8, 2014 at 6:01 PM

Maybe the dollars you’re using are worth considerably less than they were before the Fed starting printing Monopoly money.

The prices of a lot of things are higher than they should be.

Midas on January 8, 2014 at 6:06 PM

Have no fear, once Christie the GOPe candidate is coronated, he’ll really unleash our energy sector by getting rid of all of those onerous and ridiculous ‘climate change/global warming’-reasoned regula…

Wait, what?

Oh.

Never mind.

Midas on January 8, 2014 at 6:04 PM

Midas: Christie is busy putting out a Political Fire:)
======================================================

George Washington Bridge ramp closings scandal
**********************************************

http://www.breakingnews.com/topic/george-washington-bridge-ramp-closings-scandal/

canopfor on January 8, 2014 at 6:07 PM

**************** VETO THREATEN ALERT ************************!!

Mark Knoller ‏@markknoller 58m

WH issues veto threat against House bill to reduce certain environmental regulatory practices and deadlines.

canopfor on January 8, 2014 at 5:59 PM

Man, if only the Republicans were in charge of the Senate – this kind of thing would never happen aga…

Oh, wait.

Never mind.

Midas on January 8, 2014 at 6:07 PM

Republicans should tie the unemployment insurance vote to the Keystone Pipeline, slapping the EPA, or drilling on America’s land. Instead of giving more handouts, do something that will actually create jobs and prevent the loss of others.

DAT60A3 on January 8, 2014 at 6:08 PM

When King Putt address’ this amazing news one wonderers how many times he’ll use the pronown “I” in his little review of his amazing skills of diplomacy, economic wisdom and genius.
AND how the Presstitues in the Manure Spreading Media will follow His lead and embellish that false line of thought. Discuss.

Missilengr on January 8, 2014 at 6:10 PM

this boom is because drilling is mostly happening on private or state land. I have only worked 80 hrs since thanksgiving because permits on federal leases is all but shut down. I could do better at McDonalds if there was one within 100 miles.

I am so pleased that this admin is on top of things/sarc

Fred

jrsrigmvr on January 8, 2014 at 6:12 PM

What really bothers Obama is not only are the “greedy bastard” oil and gas drillers destroying the environment, but they are getting rich doing it.

Tater Salad on January 8, 2014 at 6:14 PM

Republicans should tie the unemployment insurance vote to the Keystone Pipeline, slapping the EPA, or drilling on America’s land. Instead of giving more handouts, do something that will actually create jobs and prevent the loss of others.

DAT60A3 on January 8, 2014 at 6:08 PM

That is a great idea..too bad we don’t have the senate yet.

AllahsNippleHair on January 8, 2014 at 6:14 PM

Maybe the dollars you’re using are worth considerably less than they were before the Fed starting printing Monopoly money.

The prices of a lot of things are higher than they should be.

Midas on January 8, 2014 at 6:06 PM

Probably so.
When gas was 4.20+ a barrel of oil was about $145. Now a barrel of oil is in the low 90′s. and gas is 3.30+

Mimzey on January 8, 2014 at 6:18 PM

Cheese causes constipation. And, NJ has Blimp McButterpants.
You, sir, owe me a lap top.

AllahsNippleHair on January 8, 2014 at 6:05 PM

I have to know…..what did you name your kids?

BobMbx on January 8, 2014 at 6:22 PM

Cheese causes constipation. And, NJ has Blimp McButterpants.
You, sir, owe me a lap top.

AllahsNippleHair on January 8, 2014 at 6:05 PM

I have to know…..what did you name your kids?

BobMbx on January 8, 2014 at 6:22 PM

blimp McButterpants is ALL Bishop’s. I bow at his altar.
My kids? Mammary and Areola.

AllahsNippleHair on January 8, 2014 at 6:25 PM

Then why the hell am I still paying $3.50 per gallon of regular gasoline?

timberline on January 8, 2014 at 6:01 PM

Taxes for one. Environmental regulations for the most part. The EPA controls overall production by restricting facilities much less build a new refinery. One in 30 yrs maybe. Upgrades only.

CW20 on January 8, 2014 at 6:29 PM

Stop buying more ‘stuff’ and mend cars, fridges and washing machines, says government green adviser
Prof David MacKay said green targets can only be met if UK stops waste
Warned economic recovery means even more stuff will be thrown away
25% of electrical appliances sent to landfill could be reused, worth £200m

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2535738/Stop-buying-stuff-mend-cars-fridges-washing-machines-says-government-green-adviser.html

Murphy9 on January 8, 2014 at 6:34 PM

I take all the credit-Obama

rob verdi on January 8, 2014 at 5:38 PM

Why not? It’s not much more far-fetched than Clinton taking credit for deficit reduction.

There Goes the Neighborhood on January 8, 2014 at 6:48 PM

Trade deficits are generally a good thing (unlike budget deficits). They mean the population of a country is able to purchase more than they produce. A trade surplus means they can not afford to purchase all that they produce. A deficit also means in investment surplus while a trade surplus means an investment deficit. Cato Institute has some pretty good articles on the subject but generally the only time trade deficits decline is when a country goes into recession and a “developed” economy will only run a trade surplus when in severe depression. A “developing” country will run a trade surplus while its people are poor and unable to purchase the goods they produce but that declines as the population becomes more affluent and can purchase more of their domestic production.

crosspatch on January 8, 2014 at 7:00 PM

CW20 on January 8, 2014 at 6:29 PM

Why does someone who is clueless about oil/gas/refining always bring this up? Within 10 years we will likely be shutting down another refinery or two because it will not be needed.

Here is the big picture, boys and girls, even if they did not need permits and could just build away, it ain’t happening. The aging Baby Boomer generation was all into vehicles, the Millenials ain’t. There was a decrease in per capita use of fuel BEFORE the 2008 market crash.

Kermit on January 8, 2014 at 7:04 PM

The trade deficit is going to shrink further after all of these new chemical plants get built. If only the employers could find drug free applicants with blue collar skills willing to work in TX or LA.

Kermit on January 8, 2014 at 7:05 PM

I take all the credit-Obama

rob verdi on January 8, 2014 at 5:38 PM

…he has to wait until the State of the Union address!

KOOLAID2 on January 8, 2014 at 7:31 PM

Man, if only the Republicans were in charge of the Senate – this kind of thing would never happen aga…

Oh, wait.

Never mind.

Midas on January 8, 2014 at 6:07 PM

Don’t forget, Dubya tried to kickstart it on his way out, but McVain was the putative 60th for vote that instead killed “drill baby drill”. A pox on him for not doing it earlier, like when he had a GOP majority in both houses, like say 2003/4. No, he fiddled until 2008. So, yeah, don’t count on the GOP for anything but to betray us.

AH_C on January 8, 2014 at 7:38 PM

The one good thing in our economy today and Obama would kill it in an instant if he were able to do so.

RJL on January 8, 2014 at 8:37 PM

Then why the hell am I still paying $3.50 per gallon of regular gasoline?

timberline on January 8, 2014 at 6:01 PM

Because emerging economies are buying more and more oil. I’d hate to see what prices would be if we weren’t producing so much domestically.

What people NEED to ask is whey they’re paying so much for natural gas! That’s because the utilities are forced to charge more to accommodate “alternative energies.”

blink on January 8, 2014 at 6:33 PM

Cost to drill for that oil in such plays is double.

Depends on what part of the country you are in. Prices for natural gas in New England are very high because the gas comes from offshore Canada and those fields are in decline.

Kermit on January 8, 2014 at 9:03 PM