By LYNN DOAN
A four-decade-old ban on crude exports from the US will
survive another year, the chairman of the US Houses
Energy and Commerce Committee said.
makers need time to decide
whether to lift the 1975 prohibition on exporting most crude,
and that wont happen this year, Fred Upton,
a Michigan Republican, said this week at an energy conference
in Washington. The US allows shipments of refined products
including gasoline and diesel.
Lifting the prohibition on exports would help alleviate a
glut of oil building up along the US coasts as hydraulic
fracturing and horizontal drilling help producers pull record
volumes of crude out of shale formations across the middle of
the country. The boom has propelled domestic output to the
highest level since 1986 and earlier this year sent
stockpiles of the feedstock
to a record on the Gulf
We need to ask a lot of questions, and I dont
think anyone expects us to move on it this year, Upton
told the 2014 EIA Energy Conference organized by the Energy
Information Administration in Washington. The president
of course could do so, but were not anticipating any
movement this year.
The House passed legislation last month to expedite the
approval of requests to export liquefied natural gas. Upton
said he doesnt know how long it will take for Congress
to take up crude exports.
With LNG, we asked a lot of questions, and we moved it
in regular order, Upton said. The proof is in the
pudding that we ended up with a bipartisan bill.
Pioneer Natural Resources and Enterprise Products said last
month that the US Commerce Department approved their plans to
export ultra-light crude known as condensate. The product is
heated in stabilizers and distillation
qualifies it as a refined fuel eligible for shipping abroad,
Senator Lisa Murkowski, ranking Republican member of the
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, is scheduled
to meet this week with Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker to
discuss easing restrictions on oil exports.
Any major policy
change is unlikely before
the Nov. 4 midterm elections, said Daniel Yergin, vice
chairman at IHS and author of The Quest
Theyre concerned particularly in an election year
about doing anything that others would say affected the price
of gasoline, he said.
US production of crude, along with liquids separated from
natural gas, surpassed all other countries this year with
daily output exceeding 11 million bbl in the first quarter,
Bank of America said in a report on July 4. The nation became
the worlds largest natural gas producer in 2010.
Crude exports from the US increased to 268,000 bpd in April,
Energy Information Administration data show. Thats the
highest level in 15 years.