US eases oil export ban

The US Department of Commerce on Aug. 14 agreed to allow limited crude oil trading with Mexico, easing a ban on crude exports that has been in place for 40 years. Members of the US Congress were informed by the Department of Commerce that it plans to approve an application by Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), Mexico's state-run oil company, to trade heavy oil pumped in Mexico for light crude pumped in the US. Despite applications from some dozen other countries, which were denied, Canada is the only other nation currently exempt from the ban. Unlike in the agreement with Mexico, Canada is not required to export similar crude quantities to the US. An end to the ban has been called for by both members of Congress and oil producers, including Exxon Mobil Corp.

From Jurist, Aug. 15. used with permission.

Note: The move is obviously influenced by depressed oil prices. The Wall Street Journal reports today that US oil prices have hit a new six-year low, with September deliveries of light sweet crude at $41.87 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest price since March 3, 2009. High production by both the US and OPEC is expected to keep the global market oversupplied through 2015.

  1. US overtakes Saudi Arabia as world’s top oil producer

    According to the Energy Information Administration and recent press accounts, the US overtook Saudi Arabia as the world's top oil producer in 2014. At a production rate of 11.6 million barrels of oil per day, the US surpassed Saudi Arabia's 11.5 million bpd. The EIA also reports that imports accounted for 27% of the petroleum consumed in the United States last year, the lowest annual average since 1985. The top five suppliers were Canada, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Venezuela and Russia.

    Eating crow yet, "peak oil" apocalyptoids?