From the Document: "In December 2015, P.L. 114-113 [Public Law 114-113] lifted restrictions on U.S. exports of crude oil, allowing U.S. exporters full access to world oil markets. The restrictions had been in effect for 40 years. Lifting the export restrictions addressed the changing nature of U.S. oil supply which is characterized by growing output of light oil. Due to the rapidity with which these oil supplies have entered the market, producers initially encountered infrastructure bottlenecks in transporting the new oil supplies to buyers, as well as noting a fundamental mismatch between the characteristics of the new oil supplies and the desired crude oil inputs of U.S. refineries. Many producers of the new oil supplies found that they could only sell their oil at a discount to both West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and other world reference prices of crude oil (e.g., Brent and Dubai). As a result, low realized prices threatened the potential growth of the U.S. oil industry. Producers saw entry into the world oil market as a way to increase demand for their oil and to close the price spread."
CRS In Focus, IF11095
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/