US oil company appeals to end crude oil export ban

US oil producers, such as ConocoPhillips, are calling for a repeal of the US crude oil export ban established in the 1970s.

In addressing the committee, Mr Lance highlighted the benefits to the resurging US oil and natural gas industries if the outdated ban was repealed.

“Given that America’s oil and natural gas renaissance has fundamentally changed the global energy landscape,” he said, “this policy must be repealed if the United States is to fully realize the benefits associated with our new energy abundance.

“The crude oil export ban must be lifted to help sustain this transformation; maintain our energy security, and maximise the benefits to our economy, the American consumer and our country’s geopolitical standing.”

Mr Lance’s recent address to the Senate follows an energy policy speech he delivered to the US Chamber of Commerce that appealed to the various branches of the federal government to lift the long-time crude oil export ban.

Crude oil remains the only energy commodity subject to an export ban, due to the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975.

An IHS Energy report assessing the impact of the crude oil export ban and free trade on the US economy found that lifting the restrictions on US crude oil exports would lead to further increases in domestic oil production, which would result in lower gasoline prices while supporting nearly 1 million additional jobs.

It also found that the additional crude oil supply that would generated if the ban was repealed would lower gasoline prices by an average of 8c per gallon, with a combined savings of $265bn for US motorists during the period of 2016 to 2030.

Debate on crude oil export ban set to gather pace

There is no consensus that oil prices would definitely drop if the crude oil export ban is lifted and even some refiners are opposed to ending the ban.

The Obama administration has already eased some of the export restrictions and allowed exports of a slightly processed form of condensate, a type of ultra light oil that is present as a gas underground.

But that move has not been strong enough to allay the debate and legislation to fully end the ban is set to get votes in a House of Representatives panel this week. The House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Non-proliferation, and Trade is scheduled to take up the legislation, sponsored by Rep. Joe Barton, R-Ennis, as early as tomorrow.