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Shell makes U.S. oil, gas export argument

Van Buerden calls for 'truly liberalized' U.S. energy market.
By Daniel J. Graeber   |   Sept. 3, 2014 at 8:34 AM   |   Comments

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NEW YORK, Sept. 3 (UPI) -- Exporting oil and natural gas from the United States should help ensure a more stable global energy sector, the head of Royal Dutch Shell said from New York.

Shell Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden said during a speech at Columbia University there was a "persuasive argument" for open exports from the United States.

Some policymakers on Capitol Hill and those in the energy industry have said more oil and natural gas exports would secure the United States as a global energy superpower.

Crude oil exports are restricted by legislation enacted in response to the oil embargo from Arab members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in the 1970s. Exports in the form of liquefied natural gas require an approval process that supporters say is mired in red tape.

Van Buerden said in his address a "truly liberalized" U.S. energy market would bring global benefits.

"U.S. oil and gas exports would reinforce the long-term future of North American energy production, significantly improve the U.S. balance of trade and help to make the global energy system more stable," he said in his remarks Tuesday.

Critics argue exports would lead to an increase in hydraulic fracturing, the controversial drilling practice behind the glut of oil and gas in the United States. Some industry reports have said exports could also lead to an increase in domestic energy prices.

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