The US oil industry has been on the rise due to shale oil and gas exploration

US energy infrastructure review might end oil export ban

US President Barack Obama has ordered a comprehensive review of the US energy infrastructure to address climate change challenges and the growing oil and natural gas production.

The Quadrennial Energy Review is a new instrument put forward by Obama’s administration and will function similarly to other reviews the US is performing every four years, including reviews of the defence and technology sector.

According to a White House statement, a special task force would have a year to study systems required for ‘transporting, transmitting and delivering’ energy, with the report due in January 2015.

"Our current infrastructure is increasingly challenged by transformations in energy supply, markets, and patterns of end use; issues of aging and capacity; impacts of climate change; and cyber and physical threats," said the president's memo establishing the review.

"Any vulnerability in this infrastructure may be exacerbated by the increasing interdependencies of energy systems with water, telecommunications, transportation, and emergency response systems."

Apart from creating a roadmap to tackle those challenges, the Quadrennial Energy Review is also expected to address the US growing production of oil and natural gas, unleashed by fracking and exploration of shale resources.

According to the White House statement, US oil production has grown by more than 50 per cent since 2009 and natural gas production was at its highest ever levels.

To accommodate the growing industry, the US government has to upgrade its aging infrastructure.

Some experts have suggested the time has come for the US to lift a crude oil export ban, which has been in place since 1975 when an Arab oil embargo triggered a dramatic price increase of oil in the US.

Despite being expected to produce more crude oil than Saudi Arabia in 2014, the US companies are not allowed to export any of it due to the outdated ban.

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