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Maritime Alert: Crude Oil Export Ban

Sandra KnappBy Sandra L. Knapp –

For the last twelve months, we read off and on in the news that there is momentum to lift the 1970s-era ban on the export of crude oil. The Wall Street Journal reported a year ago that the oil industry is “gearing up” to remove the U.S. ban. One year later, several pieces of legislation have been introduced to permit the export of domestic crude oil. It is possible that the U.S. House of Representatives may vote on legislation in the next few weeks.

Oil companies have been lobbying Congress over this past year that the exportation of our domestic produced crude would stimulate the economy and streamline production. It is mainly the refinery industry that is against lifting the ban. In order to understand this debate, the fact that refined products can be exported is crucial to the analysis. Crude oil can only be exported in limited circumstances such as with a special license from the U.S. government and in limited amounts from the Alaskan North Slope production if exported on a U.S. flag vessel.

For more information, contact Sandra L. Knapp at or 610-696-8225.

Sandra L. Knapp

Sandra L. Knapp is a partner at Gawthrop Greenwood, PC, where she practices Maritime and Transportation Law. She represents local, national and international transportation companies in their maritime and transportation needs. She is experienced in all facets of commercial transactions, financing, regulatory and legislative issues, environmental issues, casualty litigation and contract disputes

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