Seeking Alpha

Lobbying fight to lift U.S. oil export battle gaining momentum

  • Top oil refiner Valero (VLO -0.8%) is the first major company to publicly oppose relaxing the decades-old U.S. law that effectively bans crude oil exports, a predictable stance from an industry that has reaped the rewards of buying cheaper U.S. crude oil and selling it as refined fuels, but most refiners are steering clear of the fight.
  • Phillips 66 (PSX -0.1%) says exports of crude oil and other products are good for the U.S. and contribute to a strong balance of trade, and Marathon Petroleum (MPC -1.2%) says it supports free markets.
  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski, the top Republican on the Senate’s energy committee, and the American Petroleum Institute held events yesterday contributing to the momentum toward ending the ban.
Comments (10)
  • Hardrock48
    , contributor
    Comments (54) | Send Message
    If the ban is lifted, then watch the E&P space. Upstream crude producers like ConocoPhillips, Marathon Oil, Kodiak, EOG and Pioneer will take off. Refiners will see their crack spreads squeezed although in general, more crude will be produced. You may see a scenario where lighter, sweeter crude is exported and replaced by imports of heavy sour crude which the Gulf Coast refiners are configured to run.


    However, lifting the ban will be a Herculean effort. Seems memories of long gas lines linger in the American consciousness.
    8 Jan, 11:05 AM Reply Like
  • Mike Maher
    , contributor
    Comments (2482) | Send Message
    You can still export refined products tho. I understand the idea that from Congress's standpoint its beneficial to have lower gasoline prices in the US, but they why didnt they ban the export of gasoline? Why only oil?
    8 Jan, 11:35 AM Reply Like
  • 745
    , contributor
    Comments (63) | Send Message
    I know it's not good for business in our country, but someday we are going to regret not burning other countries oil and saving our own for later. We could have the best of both worlds if we continue to develop our energy sources and at the same time buy as much excess oil on the world market as we can and squirrel it away for when the time comes and our sources are depleted. I firmly believe that someday it is going to be a matter of National Security to have an adequate supply of energy.
    8 Jan, 12:37 PM Reply Like
  • chopchop0
    , contributor
    Comments (3138) | Send Message
    " I firmly believe that someday it is going to be a matter of National Security to have an adequate supply of energy."


    I would clarify your statement to an "adequate supply of energy-rich, hydrocarbon-based dense energy"


    Despite what enviromentalists will tell you, there will always been a need for energy-rich hydrocarbon-based fuel.


    Good op-ed on the matter:
    8 Jan, 02:29 PM Reply Like
  • RossA
    , contributor
    Comments (14) | Send Message
    Current exports of hydrocarbon products are 4 billion barrels per day.


    So current law is just a giveaway to US refiners.
    8 Jan, 05:26 PM Reply Like
    , contributor
    Comments (1901) | Send Message
    in that figure are chemicals like ethane included?
    8 Jan, 10:43 PM Reply Like
  • nick 9132
    , contributor
    Comments (11) | Send Message
    RossA, I think you are off a bit. Entire world usage is about 90 million barrels per day. Maybe you meant 4 million barrels?
    9 Jan, 01:14 AM Reply Like
  • RossA
    , contributor
    Comments (14) | Send Message
    Sorry, I meant 4 million.


    Some ethane is exported to Canada: from the Mariner West pipeline and from North Dakota. Shipping ethane is hard; though that will start in '15 (Mariner East). Most of the exported porducts diesel, gasoline, propane and butane.Natural gas to follow in '15-'16.
    9 Jan, 09:49 AM Reply Like
  • 745
    , contributor
    Comments (63) | Send Message
    Ok chopchop, I guess talking about oil in my first sentence obviously didn't make it clear enough for the entire comment. With that being said....."I firmly believe that someday it is going to be a matter of National Security to have an adequate supply of oil." I will even take it a step further and say our country not only needs access to an adequate supply of oil but also the other forms of energy such as coal, wind and solar, to power our nation. That is until something is found to totally replace oil, which probably will not happen in our lifetime.
    9 Jan, 11:15 AM Reply Like
  • combatcorpsmanVN
    , contributor
    Comments (658) | Send Message
    Exporting Fossil Fuels (whether Oil, NG, or Coal) is tempting from one side of the economic equation. As stated above, the balance of payments will be reduced although we're still a consumer country in other goods buying items from manufacturing countries w/ lower labor costs.


    Unfortunately, for the most part -- the thing we learn from history is that we DON'T LEARN from history. Our nation has been embroiled in catastrophic fiascos based on trying to preserve the flow of foreign oil in regions that hate our guts. Our reputation in many regions of the world is in the dirt b/c we never mind our own business, get into shooting wars/police actions/wine and dine vicious dictators all in the name of running our industrial society's thirst for foreign oil.


    Now, it appears that technology has given us the ability to realize the potential of our domestic supplies of Oil, NG, and Coal. We should preserve those resources by not sending them off shore. That's my view.
    9 Jan, 02:06 PM Reply Like
DJIA (DIA) S&P 500 (SPY)
ETF Tools
Find the right ETFs for your portfolio:
Seeking Alpha's new ETF Hub
ETF Investment Guide:
Table of Contents | One Page Summary
Read about different ETF Asset Classes:
ETF Selector

Next headline on your portfolio: