The long-standing crude export ban has created an “industrial policy” supporting a strong U.S. refining sector, and lifting it would squander those benefits and pass them along to China and India, the leader of the United Steelworkers plans to tell Congress on Tuesday.
The argument stands in stark contrast to several other witnesses who plan to testify that opening the spigot for crude oil exports would offer the U.S. geopolitical benefits and more sway over global energy markets.
The nuclear agreement with Iran, with its provision to lift sanctions against the country's oil exports, drove new calls Tuesday for an end to the long-standing ban on U.S. crude exports, to give domestic producers more power in the reshaped international market.
Under the deal, nuclear-related sanctions on Iran would be lifted once world powers verify that Tehran is moving on its commitments. According to the Energy Information Administration, that would allow for as many as one million additional barrels of Iranian crude to enter global markets each day. (See the story and Q&A below with specifics on the impact of the deal on prices and the oil supply.)
Oil tankers are fetching 25 percent higher lease rates this month, the highest level since January 2014, but analysts say the glut of crude oil and few places to ship it are turning the ships into storage vessels, The Wall Street Journal reports.
U.S. crude production increased in May by 870,000 barrels a day, according to the Platts forecasting unit Bentek Energy, which added that output in the Eagle Ford Shale declined but remained 21 percent higher than the year-ago period, FuelFix reports.
Lifting the long-standing ban on crude oil exports will lead to higher domestic crude prices and could stress the country's transportation infrastructure, hurting farmers, witnesses and lawmakers said at a House Small Business Committee hearing Wednesday.
While the effort to lift the ban appears to be gaining momentum, with bills set to get committee consideration in both chambers this year, the hearing highlighted that some lawmakers, including Republicans, still need some convincing.
The Obama administration may be backing away from its insistence that future coal-burning power plants use carbon capture technology, settling instead on a requirement for ultra-supercritical technology in the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan, E&E reports.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers argued that the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Water Rule lacks a sound scientific basis in memos made public by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Thursday, The Hill reports.
The Department of Energy has agreed to rework its proposed efficiency standards for walk-in freezers and coolers, according to the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute, which says it has reached a settlement with the DOE over the issue, The Hill reports.
Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M. says some other Democrats may be willing to go along with him and Sen. Angus King, I-Me., in a willingness to support legislation lifting the ban on U.S. crude exports if it also backs renewable energy such as wind and solar, E&E reports.
Despite data from the Energy Information Administration showing that U.S. crude production peaked at almost 9.7 million barrels a day in March, news of an increase in oil rig count this week piled more pressure on prices. U.S. benchmark crude slumped $1.40, or 2.9 percent, to settle at $47.12 a barrel on the Nymex, while in London, Brent dropped $1.10 to $52.26, its lowest settlement since January, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Chevron is getting nearly a third more oil and gas from its wells in the Permian Basin, and is paying less for oilfield services as well—but even so, its second quarter profits dove 90 percent on lower crude prices, FuelFix reports.
Hess has increased its production forecast for its Bakken Shale operations to up to 110,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, despite the company dropping the number of rigs it’s operating in the play, Platts reports.
Many witnesses testifying at the first Interior Department hearing on the future of the federal coal program—which was attended by Secretary Sally Jewell—said they wanted to see higher royalty rates to raise more money for U.S. taxpayers, High Country News reports.
Senior creditors for Alpha Natural Resources Inc. will loan money to the beleaguered Virginia-based coal company to help it get through bankruptcy, a filing for which could come as early as Monday, Bloomberg reports.
Although Thursday’s peak demand of 67,624 megawatts didn’t break the all-time record as the Electric Reliability Council of Texas had feared, it's been a huge week for demand, and the grid operator expects high usage throughout the summer, FuelFix reports.