LONDON May 14 The head of the International
Energy Agency on Tuesday urged the United States to decide
quickly to allow crude exports, or the industry will find ways
to get around restrictions.
The Export Administration Act of 1979 banned the sale of
U.S. crude abroad, except to Canada and Mexico, but the shale
energy boom has since turned the North American energy market
upside down in just a few years.
U.S. oil production is now rising steeply, having been
falling for decades, prompting some to say shipments abroad
should be considered.
"The answers have to be given by the U.S. government. I hope
they are going to give the answers soon," IEA Executive Director
Maria van der Hoeven said at a news conference, asked to comment
on the prospect of crude exports.
"This issue is on the table. I think it has to be addressed
because if there are no export licenses for crude, then the
industry will find different ways, as they are looking for now
already with processed, half-processsed products, things like
Earlier this year, she wrote in the Financial Times that
laws restricting exports of U.S. crude oil could cap the recent
surge in domestic output.
The IEA, which advises the United States and 27 other
industrialised countries, earlier on Tuesday forecast rising
U.S. production will help meet most of the world's new oil
demand in the next five years, leaving little room for the
Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to lift
An official at oil pricing agency Platts, Jorge Montepeque,
said he thought the United States would retain a less central
role in setting oil price benchmarks than in the past while
restrictions on crude exports remain.
European oil benchmark Brent is widely seen as the
standard global oil price, having displaced than the U.S.
(Reporting by Alex Lawler; Editing by Anthony Barker)