01 October 2014, News Wires – US independent ConocoPhillips is shipping a cargo of Alaska North Slope crude to Asia, making rare use of a Bill Clinton-era exemption to US oil export restrictions, according to a report.
ConocoPhillips, Alaska’s largest oil producer, will deliver the cargo to Asia in the fourth quarter, Bloomberg reported, citing data from energy intelligence data Genscape.
The Polar Discovery, a 140,000-deadweight tonne oil tanker, left the oil port of Valdez in Alaska on 26 September after filling with cargo, according to vessel tracking data compiled by Bloomberg.
The ship’s destination is Yeosu, South Korea; it is scheduled to arrive 10 October.
“ConocoPhillips has the capability to export a limited amount of its Alaska North Slope (ANS) crude oil production to non-US customers as allowed by law,” ConocoPhillips spokesman Darren Beaudo said. “This will enable the state of Alaska and ConocoPhillips to potentially realise a higher value for this important natural resource.”
ANS traded for $95.32 a barrel late Monday afternoon, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That is 51 cents less than ESPO, a crude of similar quality that Russia exports out of Siberia. ESPO traded at $10.47 a barrel more than ANS in November.
The US bans most exports of unprocessed crude, based on a 1975 law passed after the Arab oil embargo. In 1996, Clinton amended the law to allow exports of crude from the North Slope that traveled on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System to Valdez.
Alaskan crude exports must be transported by ships built and flagged in the US and crewed by American sailors. The Polar Discovery was built in Avondale, Louisiana, in 2003, at a shipyard that Huntington Ingalls Industries is closing.
The US has not exported crude to South Korea since a 24,000-barrel shipment was sent there in September 2006, according to Energy Information Administration data.