ABSTRACT

U.S. Crude Oil Export Policy: Background and Considerations [December 31, 2014]   [open pdf - 749KB]

"Congress may choose to consider crude oil export policy options that could range from maintaining existing restrictions to eliminating the prohibition on crude oil exports. During the 113th Congress, four bills were introduced that would have eliminated crude oil export restrictions: H.R. 4286, H.R. 4349, S. 2170, and H.R. 5814. Some Members of Congress have expressed the desire to maintain crude oil restrictions. However, maintaining restrictions might not prevent more crude-oil-like material from being exported, because varying interpretations of existing regulations may allow for more exports. The crude oil definition in the export regulations is open to interpretation and has many undefined terms that the industry may explore with the objective of determining the minimum amount of crude oil processing necessary that would result in an exportable product. It is not clear how broadly or narrowly BIS [Bureau of Industry and Security] might interpret existing laws and regulations. Finally, Congress may choose to explore other options between eliminating and maintaining restrictions. Examples may include allowing exports of lease condensate--an ultralight hydrocarbon that is typically produced with natural gas--allowing unrestricted exports to Mexico since exports to Canada are not restricted, allowing a certain type of crude (i.e., light/sweet) from a certain location (i.e., Texas) to be exported--much like the California heavy crude oil export exemption--or allowing crude oil exports for a limited time period since U.S. oil production growth is uncertain and may, according to the Energy Information Administration, peak in 2020."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R43442
Author:
Publisher:
Date:
2014-12-31
Series:
Copyright:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html
Format:
pdf
Media Type:
application/pdf
URL:
Help with citations