Ryan Lance, chief executive officer of ConocoPhillips, said lifting an existing US ban on exporting crude oil could encourage more production from tight oil formations.
Speaking Nov. 19 at the Deloitte Oil & Gas Conference in Houston, Lance said many US refineries are set up to process heavy, sour crude from Canada and South America rather than the light, sweet crude coming from US unconventional plays.
“The refineries are tooled up for sour crudes, with only so much capacity for light sweet crudes,” he said.
Refineries overseas likely could process the light, sweet crude cheaper than could US refiners, who would first have to invest in altering their processing equipment, he said.
“It will ultimately give the consumer cheaper prices at the pump,” Lance said. “I accept that it is going to be pretty hard climb,” to convince US lawmakers. “But we need to start making the case for the economic benefits.”
ConocoPhillips, based in Houston, reported $55 billion in yearly revenue and $120 billion of total assets as of Sept. 30. Proved reserves were 8.6 billion boe as of Dec. 31, 2012.
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