WASHINGTON, July 29 (Reuters) - The U.S. Commerce Department’s decision to give two companies permission last month to export lightly processed crude oil was not coordinated with the White House, a top adviser to President Barack Obama told reporters.
“Those were decisions made at the Commerce Department, and were not coordinated with the White House, to my knowledge,” said John Podesta, counselor to the president.
“The Commerce licenses were in the regular order of applying their current standards to two license applications,” Podesta said, replying to a question on Monday on a call about unrelated White House climate initiatives.
Podesta, who oversees climate change and energy policy, emphasized that the Obama administration has not changed its policy on crude oil exports.
But the administration is continuing to examine the U.S. oil boom and refining capacity, he said.
“It’s something that’s under review through our economic processes here at the White House,” he said.
The United States has banned exports of crude oil for decades, but soaring domestic production has spurred calls to overhaul the regulations and allow for more exports.
Some industry players saw an opening last month when Pioneer Natural Resources Ltd and Enterprise Product Partners LP said they had received private rulings to export condensate, a light petroleum.
Enterprise has already arranged for sales of condensate to South Korea and Japan, sources told Reuters earlier in July.
Other companies seeking similar rulings have been told their requests have been put on hold, Reuters reported late on Monday. (Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Tom Hogue)