Fraught with falling prices and declining demand, the global oil market has to put up with a new challenge, namely the U.S. lobbies that act according to domestic interests that could influence the market. The December 2014 decision of the U.S. Department of Commerce to approve the export of condensates, or ultra-light oil, might result in pumping a million barrels of this lightly-processed product into the market by the end of the year.
This exacerbates the situation of a market already suffering a surplus in supply and dramatically falling prices that have reached their lowest level in five years. More importantly, however, this seemingly small step could entice lobbies in the U.S. to call for lifting the ban on exporting U.S. crude oil, a ban that has been in place since the 1970s, following the Arab ban on importing U.S. oil. This could also pave the way for a US-Saudi confrontation over shares in the market.