American crude oil has begun to be exported to dozens of countries in a recent turnaround for the American oil and gas industry. This comes after years of plummeting oil prices and constant efforts to find a market. For 40 years, our United States energy policy implemented an export ban on American oil to any country except Canada.
Congress ended the export ban in 2015. Oil exports grew slowly through most of 2016, but this year there has been a demand expansion. South Korea, India, and Venezuela have all been purchasing American crude oil since the export ban was lifted. In addition, European countries are starting to purchase more American exports. This is an attempt to reduce their dependence on oil from Russia and African countries known to be politically unstable and unreliable suppliers. China is also beginning to purchase American oil after experiencing slumping oil production and rising demand.
Oil is being produced in high volume from Texas. Oil company executives believe the market for this oil production is now overseas. The future production of American oil will be driven by the economics of international supply and demand.
This is encouraging news after the slumping price of oil in recent years. In 2014, the price of oil fell from over $100 a barrel to less than $50. Crude exports from Corpus Christi have increased from an average of 68,000 barrels a day during the first half of 2016 to 384,000 barrels a day in April 2017. Oil production companies have been investing billions of dollars in export facilities and bringing hundreds of jobs to the Corpus Christi area.
I will work to maintain this momentum of economic activity for the Coastal Bend to generate as much success as possible for the future.