Lifting of US export ban to add $23bn to economy

Feagure released amid intensifying debate in the Senate on whether to reverse the oil export ban

Natural gas production has increased by 45% since 2010 thanks to the advancement of fracking technology.
Natural gas production has increased by 45% since 2010 thanks to the advancement of fracking technology.

Lifting of the 40 year-old ban on American crude oil exports and easing restrictions on liquefied natural gas terminals would add $23bn to the US economy by 2030, a Harvard Business School study released on Wednesday has said.

The paper called the ban "outdated" and argued that it must be lifted so the US could enjoy the economic benefits of its fracking boom, which has helped raise natural gas production by 35% since 2005 and oil by 45% since 2010.

The paper comes amid intensifying debate in the Senate on whether to reverse the oil export ban.

"Today, the ban on crude exports ... is reducing market opportunities for producers and reducing US growth, with no clear offsetting benefits for America or Americans," said the research authored by three Harvard Business School professors in conjunction with the Boston Consulting Group.

Deeming it "perhaps the largest single opportunity to change America's competitiveness‚ÄĚ, the paper said fracking now contributes about $430bn to annual US gross domestic product and supports more than 2.7mn jobs.

However, it warned that the oil industry and regulators needed to work hard to counter weak public support for fracking.

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