Senate leaders ask EIA for detailed look at crude export impacts

US Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee leaders asked the Energy Information Administration to conduct a more extensive analysis of possible consequences from lifting or easing the ban on exporting domestically produced crude oil.

The US Department of Energy’s independent statistics, analysis, and forecasting service has limited resources and numerous reporting requirements to Congress already, Chair Mary L. Landrieu (D-La.) and Ranking Minority Member Lisa Murkowski (R-Alas.) conceded.

“We would like to convey the interest of our committee in crude oil exports, which are largely banned by statute,” they continued in an Apr. 10 letter to EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski. “As you know, the possibility of lifting the ban—partially or completely—has emerged as a subject of critical concern in Congress.”

Possible areas of interest, according to Landrieu and Murkowski, might include:

• Current and projected production of crude and condensate of varying grades.

• US refining capacity and distribution, including the ability of US refiners to process the various grades of domestically produced crude and condensate.

• US refiners’ position and ability to compete in relation to global products markets.

• Economic implications of retaining or changing the current crude export policy on US producers, refiners, and consumers.

• Transportation logistics connected with US crude and condensate production, including rail capacity.

“This is a complex puzzle that is best solved with dynamic and ongoing analysis of the full picture, rather than a static study of a snapshot in time,” Landrieu and Murkowski said in their letter.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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