America wants to challenge rogue petrostates

AMERICA HAS been a superpower for decades. As a superpower in global energy markets, however, it is barely an adolescent. As recently as 2015 it was illegal to export oil. Within ten years the shale boom has transformed it into the world’s biggest producer of crude. No longer must it tiptoe around regimes whose policies it detests but whose oil it craves. President Donald Trump touts an age of “energy dominance”. He has put its burgeoning energy prowess to the test with sanctions on Iran and Venezuela. But dreams of dominance are running into the realities of energy markets.

On April 22nd the American administration announced that no further waivers would be granted to countries importing oil from Iran. “We are going to zero,” declared Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state. Waivers to eight countries, granted in November, were due to expire on May 2nd. Even so, investors were shocked that no exceptions were allowed. According to the state department, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and America will help meet demand. But Brent crude, the international benchmark, quickly topped $74, the highest level in nearly six months.

The Trump administration is right to make to make a fuss about America’s oil boom. According to the International Energy Agency, by 2021 the country may be a net exporter of oil. This would be a...

via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

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