Engineering News

Shell’s US chief makes case for oil exports
04/05/13 08:50 AM ET

Marvin Odum, Royal Dutch Shell’s top U.S. official, said Friday that the structure of global refining markets is a reason the country should export crude oil.

“If you look at the hundreds of billions, maybe even the trillion dollars that have been invested in refining capacity around the world, it doesn’t make sense to duplicate that,” Odum said on CNBC.

“So if you have a tremendous amount of light oil coming on-stream in North America, and there is a better place to refine that without having to rebuild refining infrastructure, some of that will make sense, at least for a period of time,” added Odum, the president of Shell Oil Co. A substantial number of U.S. refineries now process heavy oil from Canada, Venezuela and elsewhere (indeed the proposed Keystone XL oil sands pipeline would supply these refineries along the Gulf Coast). But U.S. production of light oil from North Dakota and Texas is surging.

The U.S. oil-and-gas production boom is already fueling a strong industry push for U.S. regulators to allow a major expansion of natural gas exports. But it has also prompted discussions about whether the United States should consider easing restrictions on export of crude oil.

It’s a concept that The Wall Street Journal, in a recent story about potential exports, notes was “unthinkable a few years ago.”

Source: E2 Wire

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