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U.S. 'thinking through' potential oil exports

White House would consider refinery capacity when weighing how to respond to oil glut.
By Daniel J. Graeber   |   May 19, 2014 at 11:02 AM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, May 19 (UPI) -- The White House is reviewing its policy options regarding legislation enacted in 1975 that restricts U.S. crude oil exports, a presidential assistant said.

Crude oil exports are restricted because of a law enacted in response to an oil embargo from Arab members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Dan Utech, an energy adviser to the White House, told the Platts energy news service the administration was reviewing the measure.

"We're thinking through the implications [of growing U.S. crude oil production,]" he said in an interview Sunday.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration, the statistical arm of the Energy Department, said in its latest monthly report total U.S. crude oil production averaged 8.3 million barrels per day in April, the highest monthly average since March 1988. By 2015, the average should reach 9.2 million bpd, the highest level in more than 40 years.

Utech said the administration would evaluate its policy options on crude oil exports "as needed." The focus now was on matching the increase in U.S. crude oil production with what the domestic refining capacity.

Sens. Mary Landrieu, D-La. and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, in April called on EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski to consider lifting the export ban.

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