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Keystone Pipeline and the Favorable Cheap Oil

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Published on : May 07, 2015

In the year 2008 in the U.S., at the time of announcement of 830,000 barrels of oil per day by Keystone and its associations, crude oil production was at its lowest which was not seen since the 1950s. In the 1950s crude oil production in the U.S. was close to 5 million barrels each day.

At the same time, import of crude oil was at its high in the U.S., which was close to 10 million barrels each day. On top of this, more than half of the crude oil imports in the U.S. which was close to 5.6 million barrels each day came from OPEC countries. 

In simple words, the U.S. oil and gas industry was in a state of decline, with not much hope regarding recovery. A whopping two-thirds of the demand came from imports, of which over half was met by potentially unstable nations. In such a scenario, Keystone looked to be a promising idea. 

The decisions that were based on such assumptions, to give green signal to Keystone seemed perfect in retrospect. Unfortunately, since then the economy in the U.S. and the project tofether have undergone a change dramatically. Such changes have caused the consequences of the project for everyone. 

In the U.S., technology innovations that were being invigorated for natural gas drilling turned out to be equally applicable for oil drilling. Though the Keystone pipeline is under regulatory limbo, the oil production in the U.S. has skyrocketed to phenomenal levels, as per the last count the production was more than 9.3 million barrels per day. 

The numbers are almost double the production numbers in 2008, and have not been observed since the oil heydays in the early 1970s. 

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