Energy & Environment Correspondent
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Apr 2, 2014

Senator says small change could get some U.S. crude exports flowing

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Commerce Department could help energy companies start to bypass a 40-year ban on most U.S. crude oil exports by allowing shipments of a type of petroleum that has become abundant during the energy boom, a key senator said on Wednesday.

The department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) can allow the exports of an unprocessed light oil called condensate without an act of Congress, simply by modernizing its definition of crude, Senator Lisa Murkowski, a Republican from Alaska, told a House of Representatives subcommittee.

Apr 2, 2014

Key senator says U.S. office can lift part of oil export ban

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. government office has the power to approve exports of an abundant type of petroleum and help energy companies begin to partially bypass a 40-year ban on crude exports, according to a report released on Tuesday by Lisa Murkowski, the top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

The ban on crude exports the government put in place after the Arab oil embargo of the 1970s includes a prohibition on exports of unprocessed condensate, a light petroleum that appears in oil reservoirs as a gas, but condenses to a liquid when it leaves the well.

Mar 28, 2014

White House plan to cut oil, gas emissions coming as soon as Friday

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration will propose a strategy to slash emissions of the potent greenhouse gas methane as soon as Friday, a source with an environmental group said.

The strategy is part of President Barack Obama’s climate action plan announced last year. The source, who could not be named because the plan has not been released, said the strategy could target everything from agriculture to mining and energy industries, but could not offer any other details.

Mar 26, 2014

North Dakota oilman urges U.S. crude exports to Europe

WASHINGTON, March 26 (Reuters) – Ending the 40-year ban on
U.S. crude exports is the fastest way the American drilling boom
could bolster energy security in Europe and Ukraine, the CEO of
the biggest operator in North Dakota’s vast oil fields told
lawmakers on Wednesday.

After Russia’s invasion of the Crimean region of Ukraine,
several U.S. lawmakers have introduced bills pushing the
government to speed approvals of U.S. liquefied natural gas
exports. They say the extra U.S. supplies would provide Europe
with an alternative to supplies from Russia, from which it
currently gets nearly a third of its fuel.

Mar 26, 2014

Lifting U.S. crude export ban would help counter Russia- oil CEO

WASHINGTON, March 26 (Reuters) – Lifting the 40-year ban on
U.S. crude exports is the fastest way the American drilling boom
could be used to bolster energy security in Europe and Ukraine
in the face of Russian aggression, the CEO of the biggest
operator in North Dakota’s vast oil fields will tell lawmakers
on Wednesday.

In the wake of Russia’s invasion and annexation of the
Crimean region of Ukraine, several U.S. lawmakers have
introduced bills pushing the Department of Energy to speed
approvals of U.S. liquefied natural gas exports from more than
20 projects.

Mar 19, 2014

U.S. senators urge Obama to be tough on Iran nuclear program

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As talks on a nuclear deal for Iran resumed in Vienna Tuesday, a wide majority of U.S. senators urged President Barack Obama to insist that any final agreement state that Iran “has no inherent right to enrichment under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.”

That lack of entitlement was one of several principles the 83 senators outlined in the letter. They urged Obama to “insist upon their realization in a final agreement” that six world powers and Iran are hoping to hammer out by late July. The senators also want to prevent Iran from ever having the capacity to build nuclear weapons.

Mar 14, 2014

Global imports of Iranian oil hit one-year high, IEA says

LONDON/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Global imports of Iranian oil hit a one-year high in January and February, the International Energy Agency said on Friday, data that industry sources say suggests a temporary deal on sanctions pressure on Tehran has helped its oil sales to recover.

Imports of Iranian crude, including condensate, reached 1.41 million barrels per day (bpd) in January and February, the IEA, which advises industrialized countries, said in a monthly report. The IEA revised up January’s figure by 90,000 bpd.

Mar 13, 2014

With SPR test, Obama warms up to flex U.S. energy muscle

WASHINGTON, March 13 (Reuters) – A rare U.S. test of its
strategic oil reserves may be just coincidentally timed with the
most serious stand-off with Russia in decades, but the
underlying message of the move announced on Wednesday left
little doubt: Prepare for the rise of a new global energy
superpower.

The Energy Department said it would offer up to 5 million
barrels of sour crude from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve
(SPR), with bids due in two days. Officials said the sale would
ensure the reserves can still quickly deliver oil to refiners
despite changing pipeline networks.

Mar 6, 2014

U.S. mulls how to use natgas resources in Ukraine crisis: top official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – There are discussions going on at high levels within the U.S. government on how to use U.S. natural gas resources as the country addresses the crisis in Ukraine, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns said on Thursday.

U.S. Senator Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican, asked Burns if “it would be fair to say” there are active discussions at such levels about how to use natural gas to ease European reluctance to enact sanctions over the Ukraine crisis, and to help Ukraine.

Mar 6, 2014

U.S. senator launches bill to go slow on LNG exports despite Ukraine

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senator Edward Markey introduced a bill on Thursday to make the Obama administration’s approval of liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports more complicated, saying expedited permits will not help Ukraine and Europe manage Russia’s control of fuel supply.

As Russia has tightened its grip on Ukraine’s Crimea region this week, a slew of Republican U.S. lawmakers, including House Speaker John Boehner, have called on the Obama administration to speed up LNG approvals in order to protect Ukraine and Europe from Moscow’s control over natural gas shipments via pipeline.

    • About Timothy

      "I cover U.S. energy and environment policy and climate change. Moved to DC in late 2009 after a decade in New York. Author of "Diminishing Resources:Oil," which is one in a series of books for young adults."
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