(Recasts with first reported shipment of Bakken crude since U.S. Congress lifted export ban, adds details of sale, industry background)
HOUSTON, April 15 (Reuters) - Hess Corp on Friday confirmed it sold Bakken crude for export out of the U.S. Gulf Coast to Europe, the first reported shipment of the light North Dakota oil since Congress lifted the ban on exporting crude last December.
Hess sold 175,000 barrels of Bakken crude, which loaded at St. James, Louisiana, in early April and is being transported to a European refinery, spokesman John Roper said in an emailed statement.
The company did not disclose the buyer or the name of the vessel transporting the crude.
The Bakken export comes just one day after Exxon Mobil Corp confirmed it was shipping roughly 18,000 barrels of offshore oil produced from its Gulf of Mexico Julia field to its refinery in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
Both exports, while small in size, are the first of their nature in the quickly developing U.S. crude export market.
North Dakota’s Bakken shale is more than 1,500 miles (2,414 km) from the Louisiana coast, while Exxon’s export of Julia crude came from initial tests conducted on deepwater wells expected to start service by the end of the second quarter of this year.
Until now, all other shipments of U.S. crude had comprised of light onshore oil. (Reporting by Liz Hampton; Editing by Matthew Lewis)