Processing Magazine

US crude oil export ban should be lifted, Chamber of Commerce says

January 10, 2014

<photocredit>Natalia Bratslavsky/iStockphoto/Thinkstock</photocredit>

The pressure on the federal government to lift the ban on U.S. crude oil exports is building, after the U.S. Chamber of Commerce joined the long list of industry groups, trade bodies and organizations that are demanding an end to the restriction.

Speaking at an event in Washington earlier this week, the chamber's president Tom Donohue called for the government to take into account the economic opportunities that crude oil export can create. He stated that energy was the "next American revolution," adding that he expected the ban to be lifted eventually but it would take time, the Wall Street Journal reported.

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The U.S. crude oil export ban was imposed in the 1970s as a means to keep oil prices stable and protect them from the volatility of the market and from a potential drop in domestic production. While the ban has served its purpose well over the past four decades, the U.S. oil industry now believes that the restriction is an obstacle for its growth. The rapid increase in oil production in recent years has led to a domestic oversupply, with producers having very limited options to distribute their production, while they could potentially supply oil to Europe and other regions at a high margin.

More details about the Chamber of Commerce's opinion on the ban are expected next week, when the annual recommendations of its Energy Institute are released, a chamber spokeswoman told the Wall Street Journal.