EIA: Light, sweet crude from tight formations source of US oil production increases

About 96% of the 1.8-million b/d growth in US production during 2011-13 consisted of light, sweet crude grades with API gravity of 40° or higher and sulfur content of 0.3% or less, the US Energy Information Administration reported on June 6.

EIA forecasts that the US supply of light, sweet crude will continue to outpace that of medium and heavy crude through 2015, as more than 60% of growth will consist of sweet grades with API gravity of 40° or higher.

As a surplus of oil has accumulated from tight formations, policymakers and industry have debated relaxing the US crude export ban to avoid a light-heavy price competition that could jeopardize production growth (OGJ, Jan. 17, 2014, p. 16).

An IHS study released in May reported that lifting the export ban could result in boosted US production, lower gasoline prices, and as many as 1 million additional jobs (OGJ Online, May 30, 2014).

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