U.S. Loosens Longtime Ban on Oil Exports

17-Aug-2015

Energy companies eager to export American crude oil scored a victory Friday when Washington agreed to allow them to trade oil with Mexico, in a further erosion of the four-decade ban on selling U.S. crude overseas.

The U.S. Commerce Department told members of Congress it intends to approve an application by the national oil company of Mexico to exchange heavy oil pumped there for light crude pumped in the U.S., according to people familiar with the matter.

The deal, which will give American drillers a new market for their product, is a significant step toward lifting the export ban that dates to the Arab oil embargo of the 1970s, when the U.S. suffered though gasoline shortages. Since then, the U.S. has allowed few overseas shipments of oil, with a current exemption for Canadian refineries, which send a lot of gas and diesel back to the U.S. (by CHRISTIAN BERTHELSEN, LYNN COOK and LAURENCE ILIFF, Wall Street Journal)

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Read our look at the export issue