The U.S. is producing so much natural gas that it should bulk up its exports, oilman Harold Hamm said Friday on CNBC.
There was a glut of nat gas on the market for a while, but supply and demand is coming back in line—helped in part by the colder winter, Hamm said. "We're seeing price coming into a range where you can go out and drill for gas again."
Since the U.S. has more than enough supply to service its needs, "we should be exporting natural gas," he contended.
As for oil, America is on track to be energy independent in the next decade, Hamm said. But he doesn't see the U.S. as an exporter of crude.
"We could probably be in a lot better shape in the country, if the XL [pipeline] had been approved."
He also acknowledged that the industry is no longer counting on the long-delayed northern leg of TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline for moving Bakken oil from shale fields that straddle the U.S.-Canadian border
"Business goes on. We're in a competitive situation in the Bakken. We have to get our oil to market. We have to find other ways to do it," he added. "We've done that with rail and other pipes."
TransCanada first applied for a U.S. permit for Keystone XL in 2008, but the proposed line running from Alberta, Canada, to Nebraska remains under review by the Obama administration and faces strong opposition from environmental groups.
Even if that northern leg is eventually approved, it would take four years to build, Hamm said.
The southern leg of the pipeline from Oklahoma to Texas will start moving oil next month, according to TransCanada, which also is considering the development of a rail bridge in the north if delays persist.