U.S. oil boom has minor price impact

Jan. 3, 2013 at 11:15 AM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Experts expect a minor shift in global energy prices because of the oil and natural gas boom in the United States, an analyst said.

The United States is emerging as a world leader in terms of oil and natural gas, in part because of new technology used to extract resources from underground shale formations.

Michael Levi, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, told green energy group Climate Progress that U.S. production likely kept energy prices moderated in 2012, when Iranian sanctions contributed to market tensions.

In the short term, he said, production gains can have an effect on global markets.

"I think it's tougher for U.S. production to move prices strongly in the long run," he said.

Oil prices from crude oil traded from the Cushing, Okla., hub spiked to $108.56 a barrel during the week ending March 2, but ended the year at around $91 per barrel.

Motor group AAA this week reported that gasoline prices for 2012 where the highest ever, averaging $3.60 per gallon for the year.

Levi told the climate group that most market watchers assume the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries would adjust its production in response to U.S. production increases, which translates to a "very mild price impact."

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