For over four decades, U.S. oil producers were barred from exporting crude oil. Now, as the country undergoes an oil and energy boom that lessens the country's dependence of foreign oil, producers are looking to begin shipping U.S. crude, arguing that the decision will stimulate the economy and create new jobs.
The Obama administration allowed a glimmer of hope for oil producers by allowing the export of an ultralight oil known as condensate. In fact, the first tanker of Texas condensate left port earlier this month, as this blog explored in a previous article.
According to the Wall Street Journal, at least ten companies have banded together to being lobbying efforts for lifting the ban. The list includes such major industry players as Marathon Oil, ConocoPhillips, Hess Corp., Continental Resources Inc. and Pioneer Natural Resources Co..
"We've been out pretty publicly as a company supporting and advocating on behalf of not only the condensate exports, but the crude-oil exports as well," ConocoPhillips Chief Executive Ryan Lance told media at a conference last month. "The condensate solves a very, very small problem."
However, oil producers still face several major challenges. While many members of the Senate support lifting the ban, others reflect voters' concerns that the decision will negatively impact prices at the gas pump. Oil refiners are also opposing lifting the ban, as they are concerned about potential impact on the record profits that have been posted in recent years as crude is shipped to offshore refineries.
While it remains a divisive issue, oil and gas strategy consulting can help identify potential advantages and pitfalls and prepare the workforce for all eventualities. Because either decision can have such a significant impact, it is important to have access to expertise that is not bogged down by internal politics and can provide above-the-fray insight on strategic decisions.