US crude export debate reliant on LNG’s path: Senator

18 June 2013 21:58  [Source: ICIS news]

WASHINGTON (ICIS)--The debate over US exports of crude oil may come sooner than most expect, but not if issues keep arising for liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, a US senator said on Tuesday.

“Deciding to export [LNG] should be easy -- either we have enough to send abroad or we don’t,” said US Senator Lisa Murkowski (Republican-Alaska), a ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Under the Export Administration Act of 1979, the US can only export crude oil to neighbours Canada and Mexico. But the shale boom has led to substantial increases in domestic oil production and has brought about a debate on allowing exports to more countries.

While Murkowski said the more complicated debate over potential US crude oil exports likely will not happen this summer, it will come sooner than people expect.

“But if we don’t handle LNG exports in the right way, then there’s little hope that we will be able to tackle the bigger picture of crude exports,” she said during the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) 2013 Energy Conference. “We haven’t wrapped our arms around the place we’re in right now.”

The EIA 2013 Energy Conference runs through Tuesday.

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By: Anna Matherne

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