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Should The U.S. Do Away With 40-Year Crude Oil Export Ban?

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Should The U.S. Do Away With 40-Year Crude Oil Export Ban?

With the nuclear deal with Iran to be a reality soon, the oil export sanction on the country will be lifted. According to oil industry experts, this is probably the right time for the U.S. to also consider removing the 40-year-old, self-imposed ban on exporting crude oil.

Hess Corp. (NYSE: HES) CEO John Hess was on CNBC Monday to make a case for why U.S. should lift the ban on importing crude.

Unfair For U.S. Oil Producers

"At a time when the U.S. is considering removing sanctions on Iranian crude oil exports, we should remove the 40-year-old sanctions on U.S. crude oil exports," Hess began. "Our oil is literally trapped here because of the ban."

He explained, "Inventories of crude oil in the last year have gone from 350 million barrels to 470 million barrels. As a consequence, our oil as a U.S. producer gets $5 to $15 a barrel less than we could get if we sold in the open marketplace."

Related Link: Credit Suisse's Latest Oil Projections

Makes No Sense

Hess highlighted how we allow exports of refined products, but not crude oil itself saying, "So, we export 3.5 million barrels a day refined products – gasoline and heating oil. Why don't we export the crude that makes those products? It makes no sense. I don't know any other industry that's treated this way.

"On top of it, by putting more crude on the open marketplace, you are going to make more energy security. A lot of third party studies have shown gasoline prices will go down."

Shale's Impact

He continued, "It's a big impact on the economy [of] shale. Two million jobs have been created since the financial crisis because of shale.

"And on top of it, we invest as an industry in shale $100 billion a year; it's almost 10 percent of the capital investment in our country per year. So, we are the largest producer as a country of oil and natural gas liquids. It's time we start leading like one," Hess concluded.

Image Credit: Public Domain

 

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