28 Mar 2014 More

Senator Advocates Crude Oil Exports as a Weapon for Good

posted by Unknown @ 09:25 0 Comments

Crude oil exports in tanker ship
According to Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, not only would exporting crude oil make good economic sense for the United States, it could be a strategic weapon for the benefit of the world.  With the US as one of the world’s top US oil exporters, it could conceivably change the fabric of the world.

“I’m not saying we need to go out there and throw some sharp elbows, but I do think we need to be aware of what we have and how important a tool diplomatically an energy asset can be,” said Murkowski at the IHS CERAweek energy summit in Houston.

Murkowski went on to say that American oil and gas production “needs to go into the political calculation.”

US oil production and world politics

The price for a barrel of crude moved up by $2 on concerns that the crisis in the Ukraine could lead to military intervention by Russia.  That could cause disruptions not just in the world crude oil supply but natural gas as well. 

Entrance by the US into the world market could help to stabilize prices amid the chaos.  Further domestic production here in the US could also help to curtail fears over supply as well.

“We’ve got a cushion now because of what we are producing,” Murkowski went on to say. “It allows for a level of stability worldwide that we simply would not have had otherwise.”

”If this was a situation where we wanted to use our natural gas opportunities as political leverage, we’re not in that place now,” concluded Murkowski.

Current policy changes

The Department of Energy has already approved six new licenses to export LNG to nations which are not currently free-trade partners with the US.  The problem is that they must still be approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.  On top of that, new facilities for moving the gas would take years to build.

“The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security should, in my view, thoughtfully and deliberately amend its short supply controls to permit the export of condensate,” said Murkowski.

Murkowski is pressing the Obama Administration to take action, although the consensus is that this being an election year, no action will be taken anytime soon.

In the meantime, the senator says that she will also ask the EIA to work on economic analysis showing the advantages of allowing the US to export more oil.  Similar requests have also been made by Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon and Maria Cantwell of Washington.

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