26 October 2014, News Wires – More than a dozen US operators have joined to lobby the federal government to reverse the ban on crude exports, a move that supporters hope would create jobs and boost national security.
Producers for American Crude Oil Exports, or Pace, is the first lobbying group to form on reversing the ban.
The group of 14 producers has “united to create an advocacy initiative to help repeal the outdated ban on crude oil exports,” Daren Beaudo, a spokesman for ConocoPhillips, one of the member companies, told Reuters in an email.
The ability to export crude is “vital to the country’s economic growth and national security, job creation, and strengthening our competitive position in the global marketplace,” he said to Reuters.
Congress passed the trade restriction in the 1970s after the Arab oil embargo caused fears of domestic oil shortages.
Pace will face opposition from a group of four oil refiners called Consumers and Refiners United for Domestic Energy, or Crude, who want to keep the ban in place, saying that exports could add costs to their processing.
The US drilling boom of the past six years is expected to proceed and could soon make the United States the world’s biggest oil producer, surpassing both Saudi Arabia and Russia. The boom has also created a glut of light crude in the Gulf of Mexico refining hub.
Oil producers say that glut will soon slow down the energy drilling revolution by depressing crude prices. On the other hand, some refiners say they are making changes to their plants that will soon allow them to process much of that crude.
The Obama administration and Congress can both take steps to reverse the ban, but there has been little action this election year. The Commerce Department earlier this year gave permission to two companies to export minimally processed condensate. But since then action on some two dozen requests for so-called commodity clarifications has been delayed.
Pa is comprised of Anadarko Petroleum, Chesapeake Energy, Concho Resourcesce, ConocoPhillips, Continental Resources, Devon Energy, Encana, EOG Resources, Hess, Laredo Petroleum, Marathon Oil, Noble Energy, Occidental Petroleum and Pioneer Natural Resources.
The refiners in Crude are: Alon USA Energy, PBF Energy, Delta Air Lines subsidiary Monroe Energy, and Philadelphia Energy Services.